Romanian tennis star Sorana Cirstea says she is certain that there is no way Simona Halep would ever knowingly take a prohibited substance. Halep, a two-time Grand Slam champion, has been suspended since October after the ITIA said that the Romanian tested positive for anti-anaemia drug Roxadustat.
Two weeks ago, the Halep doping case received a new twist after the ITIA announced a second anti-doping charge for the former world No 1 over "irregularities" in her biological passport. Since Day 1, Halep has been insisting that she is innocent and that she is the victim of contamination.
“I don’t know if my opinion is needed but all I’m going to say is I don’t think Simona would ever knowingly dope. It’s not a good situation & I really hope she can solve it," Cirstea said of Halep.
Sorana Cirstea on Simona Halep’s doping case:
“I don’t know if my opinion is needed but all I’m going to say is I don’t think Simona would ever knowingly dope. It’s not a good situation & I really hope she can solve it”.
Cirstea throws support at Halep
The day that the ITIA announced Halep failed a doping test, the Romanian vowed to clear her name. Eight months have passed and Halep remains suspended.
For the end of May, Halep had a hearing scheduled in front of an independent tribunal - but that hearing was postponed. Now, Halep has had her hearing in front of an independent judge postponed for three times. Last week, Halep released a statement, accusing the ITIA again of "denying me the right to be judged by an Independant Tribunal." Also, Halep said she was "devastated" and suggested her mental health was suffering because of the situation.
"Not allowing me to participate into any tournament for 8 months. Now I know that I will have missed the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon. Not to mention that I will have lost all my points and my ranking. Not only they are killing my reputation, but also me as a professional player, and I don't even talk about the consequences on my mental health.
This disrespect of the rules by the ITF (ITIA) regarding the fast hearing I am entitled to have, is so disrespectful to me that I have no more words," Halep said in a statement.
Ningbo Open: Ons Jabeur, Sorana Cirstea eke out victories in openers!
Martina Navratilova on Simona Halep's doping issue: "Drug thing stinks"
Caroline Wozniacki's message for players after Serena Williams' shade on Simona Halep
Darren Cahill defends Simona Halep against the accusations
Sorana Cirstea rips Serena Williams over shade thrown at Simona Halep
Simona Halep's ex-coach recounts 2019 Wimbledon final win over Serena Williams