According to Romanian tennis pundit Cristian Tudor Popescu, Simona Halep's chances of pulling off a comeback in tennis are almost non-existent following ITIA's latest allegation related to her Biological Passport. "The chances of Simona returning to high-level tennis tend to zero.
The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) announces that Simona Halep must face a new allegation, separate from that related to Roxadustat, related to "irregularities" in her Biological Passport, an archive of tests and measurements that players from the first 300 places in the WTA ranking have.
For now, I don't know what these "irregularities" consist of, but the emerging perspective," Popescu writes on Facebook. "Anyway, Simona was on a knife edge with the May 28 deadline for the Roxadustat case. Had she then received a favorable verdict and had her suspension lifted, she would have had a chance to play at Wimbledon, without much expectation, but at least to return to high-level tennis.
Thus, with the two cumulative charges, the probability of lifting the suspension tends to be zero. Practically, the year 2023 is closed for Simona's return. I still believe in the good faith of Simona Halep, but her future in tennis sounds bleak."
Simona Halep attacked ITIA for the new allegations
Since October 2022, Roland Garros and Wimbledon winner Simona Halep has been fighting to remove a suspension after testing positive for the anti-anemia drug Roxadustat.
But despite Halep insisting that she's innocent and many other notable names in the tennis world backing her up as a correct person, she still did not get a chance to defend herself in a court. What's worse for the Romanian is that last week, the ITIA came up with a new allegation.
"The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) confirms that Romanian tennis player Simona Halep has been charged with a further and separate breach of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (TADP), relating to irregularities in her Athlete Biological Passport (ABP)," the ITIA said in a statement.
Here is Halep's first reaction on the statement: "Since October 7, when I got charged by the ITIA for a suspicion of doping, I have lived the worst nightmare I have ever gone through in my life. Not only has my name been soiled in the worst possible way, but I am facing a constant determination from the ITIA for a reason that I cannot understand, to prove my guilt while I haven't EVER even thought of taking any illicit substance.
I tried two times to have the opportunity to be judged by an Independent Tribunal and the ITIA has constantly found reasons to postpone. Now that we have clearly established that I have been victim of a contamination, they came up with a so-called not normal evolution of my blood.
Three world renowned experts that have studied my blood tests have been extremely clear that my blood is totally normal. feel helpless facing such harassment and a motivation on their behalf to prove me guilty of something I never did.
Once again, all my life I have been totally against any sort of cheating. It doesn't align with my values. The only thing I hope for, at this point, is to have the possibility to finally access the independent and impartial judges in a Tribunal, that will give me the chance to prove my innocence.
I have full trust in justice and I look forward to finally being able to present my case at my hearing that is scheduled at the end of May, after several delays by the ITIA. The support of my loved ones, the tennis world and my fans have given me the courage to continue to practice every day and fight for the truth.
I cannot thank you more for that," Halep said in a statement.
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