The former US tennis star Chris Evert expressed her support for Simona Halep. The Romanian, 2-time Grand Slam champion, was charged with a second doping violation by ITIA. Halep has been provisionally suspended from the tour since October 2022 after testing positive for Roxadustat at the US Open.
On Friday May 19, the ITIA charged the Romanian with a second doping accuse, which is separate, and in addition, to her charges from last year. Chris Evert has expressed her doubts about the idea that the two-time Grand Slam champion would intentionally use performance-enhancing drugs.
She wrote on Twitter: "It's very hard for me to believe that Simona intentionally used PEDs..."
Simona Halep on the doping issue
A battle for truth.
This is how Simona Halep defined the doping case that concerned her last October. In a test she was subjected to during the US Open, the former world number one tested positive for Roxadustat. The Romanian then waited some time before presenting evidence of her innocence, which the ITF denied.
Simona Halep explained the whole story in detail, explaining in a recent interview with Tennis Majors: "The situation was very difficult. It is emotionally heavy. The stress is huge because I never thought I would have to deal with something like this.
I have always been against doping, as I am a great supporter of clean sport. So, at first, I didn't know how to handle the situation. Over time, I've tried to keep my composure and, in fact, feel confident because I know I'm clean and haven't knowingly taken anything off limits.
This makes me feel a little better, but I'm trying to handle the situation as much as possible. It was a shock. I didn't know how to handle it. I didn't know what Roxadustat was. I had never heard of it before. I surfed the internet to find out and that's when I realized it was a banned substance.
After much work, they discovered that there was a contamination, a contamination in a licensed supplement and that is why the amount was so low in my body. I sent the evidence to the ITF, who denied it. I sent them in December when we started working on the case.
Since the ITF has denied, the only option to resolve the case is to go to the court to have a hearing on my case and present all the evidence that my positive test was tainted. In December I sent all the results to the ITF to prove there was a contamination in my sample but they denied it.
I was hoping I could go to court to have a hearing and find out whether or not I could play Indian Wells. The February 28 hearing did not take place because the ITF requested more time for further testing. Even though it was being reviewed, the hearing was postponed to March 24.
The ITF has requested that the March 24 hearing be canceled. I didn't agree because, as the rules say, a provisionally suspended player has the right to an expedited hearing. Everything takes a long time. I asked the ITF to lift my suspension so I could play but they denied that too.
The next step is a hearing in late May, but it's very fragile because the ITF has said it could cancel it. If they do, it will have been nearly eight months since I was provisionally suspended and I don't think it's fair that eight months go by without even being tried in court.
Emotionally, the whole period was not easy and I felt the need to speak loudly to my fans, supporters and the general public. I'm sure they want to know what's going on and why it's taking so long. I wanted to remain silent until the case was resolved, but it's too heavy, so I felt it would do me real good to talk about it out loud."
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