John Millman shades Patrick Mouratoglou after Simona Halep wins doping ban appeal

Millman took a shot at coach Mouratoglou when reacting to the news of Halep getting her doping ban reduced.

by Dzevad Mesic
John Millman shades Patrick Mouratoglou after Simona Halep wins doping ban appeal
© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Former Australian tennis player John Millman expressed delight at seeing Simona Halep being allowed to return to tennis but also threw some shade at coach Patrick Mouratoglou, telling the two-time Grand Slam champion to keep her drinks far away from her ex-coach. 

While Halep's doping trial was ongoing, the former world No. 1 never directly blamed coach Mouratoglou but she did claim that her positive test for Roxadustat came via a contaminated supplement. After the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) announced a four-year doping ban for Halep in September, only then more details were revealed. 

In early November, coach Mouratoglou revealed he actually gave a contaminated supplement to Halep. But when revealing the news, Mouratoglou strongly insisted that he didn't know the supplement was contaminated and blamed the company that produced the product for failing to mention on their label that it was contaminated with a banned substance.

Simona Halep and Patrick Mouratoglou
Simona Halep and Patrick Mouratoglou© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

After appealing her four-year doping ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport last month, 32-year-old Halep learned on Tuesday that her doping ban was cut to nine months and that she was allowed to return to tennis immediately. 

"Great to see Simona eligible to play again. Don’t let Patrick anywhere near your drinks on your return!" Millman wrote on X when reacting to the Halep news. 

What happened after Halep found out she took a contaminated supplement?

Shortly after Halep's provisional suspension was announced in 2022 October, some started pointing fingers at coach Mouratoglou and wondering if there was any blame on his part. 

When it came to Halep, she instantly started strongly rejecting the doping allegations and insisted that she would never knowingly take a banned substance. At the time, Halep wasn't pointing fingers at anyone directly but she vowed to do her best to find out how a contaminated substance got in her system. 

In early 2023, rumors started swirling around that Halep's team believed that a contaminated supplement was to blame for her failed doping test. It didn't take long before Halep confirmed the rumors and that's when the Romanian laid out her defense and even more vocally preached her innocence. 

Simona Halep
Simona Halep© Getty Images Sport - Shaun Botterill

But after being heard in front of the independent tribunal, Halep still got hit with a four-year doping ban as the ITIA said in a statement in September they accepted the Romanian's argument that she took a contaminated supplement but also that "the volume the player ingested could not have resulted in the concentration of Roxadustat found in the positive sample."

Mouratoglou's revelation after Halep's four-year ban

After Halep's four-year doping ban was announced on September 12th, Mouratoglou said in a statement that he was "extremely shocked" and that the verdict was "totally unfair and unacceptable" to the Romanian. 

In November, coach Mouratoglou uploaded a video on his Instagram, in which he revealed full details on how a banned substance got into Halep's body.

"I feel confident for the future of Simona Halep with her appeal to the CAS because it is an independent tribunal. We have been able to establish where the contamination comes from. So we proposed her to take collagen and we brought her collagen from a company. This collagen happened to be contaminated, there was no way to know it. But I feel responsible for what happened because it's my team," Mouratoglou said in a video posted on his Instagram in early November.

"So it's me basically who brought her this collagen. We have done all possible tests to establish that we are talking about a contamination. I'm very confident that this independent tribunal will recognize that she never did doping, she was a victim, and she has to come back to the court and compete as soon as possible.

"It opened my eyes on the fact that any athlete can become contaminated tomorrow because apparently this happens more and more. We're talking about extremely low levels of something. It has zero effect, but you happen to have in your system something that shouldn't be there. 

"Your career is stopped for a period of time that is extremely long. It can affect your whole career, it affects your reputation for a very unfair reason because you have done nothing. 

"The companies that you decide to go with for supplements, you have to be sure at 100% that this cannot happen."

Simona Halep and Patrick Mouratoglou
Simona Halep and Patrick Mouratoglou© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

In December, Halep confirmed in one of her interviews that she wasn't working with Mouratoglou anymore and that they didn't speak in months. 

Now, Halep is preparing to return to tennis while Mouratoglou recently started working again with Holger Rune.

John Millman Patrick Mouratoglou Simona Halep