Simona Halep opens up on mistake from 'others' that 'destroyed 25 years of my career'

Halep's team provided her with a supplement that turned out to be contaminated with a banned substance.

by Dzevad Mesic
Simona Halep opens up on mistake from 'others' that 'destroyed 25 years of my career'
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Simona Halep admits she has battling "pain and anxiety" ever since receiving her doping ban as she finds it incredibly hard to accept that a mistake from her team could "destroy 25 years" of her career. Halep, who is currently serving a four-year ban from tennis after being found guilty of taking anti-anaemia drug Roxadustat and also due to irregularities found in her biological passport, has been claiming since Day 1 that she is a clean athlete and that she would never intentionally take a banned substance.

Recently, coach Patrick Mouratoglou - who started working with Halep in 2022 April - admitted that his team was the one who provided Halep with a collagen that was contaminated with a banned substance. Mouratoglou accepted the responsibility but insisted that the team didn't know that the supplement was contaminated with a banned substance.

This month, Halep confirmed that she has since stopped working with Mouratoglou. "My team recommended that I take a food supplement, collagen. I followed their advice and it turned out that the collagen was contaminated with Roxadustat.

I'm sure it wasn't done intentionally and I'm grateful he admits the mistake was his and his team's. Yes, they are the ones who gave me this food supplement. And for this error – their error – I am the only one to pay the high price: 25 years of career destroyed," Halep told Paris Match.

Halep hopes her retirement will come on the court

Currently, Halep's suspension runs through 2026 October. Halep, 32, hopes her appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport will be successful and she will return to tennis earlier.

"I prefer not to consider the worst-case scenario. It would be a disaster. Especially since, if the sanction is maintained, I cannot know what will happen over the next three years, how my body will evolve. My dream is to come back, whatever my age.

One thing is certain: I want to choose how my career ends and I don't want to end my playing life anywhere other than on a court. I think that, given the work I have put in over all these years, I deserve it," Halep said.

Simona Halep