'Shocked' Simona Halep rips ITIA, independent tribunal after 'very unfair' doping ban

Halep makes her first public interview since the four-year ban announcement.

by Dzevad Mesic
'Shocked' Simona Halep rips ITIA, independent tribunal after 'very unfair' doping ban
© Getty Images Sport - Shaun Botterill

Simona Halep says "everything that happened was unfair on every level" in her first public interview since been handed a four-year doping ban. On Tuesday, it was announced that the independent tribunal found Halep guilty of committing two anti-doping violations and handed her a major ban.

Halep, a two-time Grand Slam champion, has been insisting from Day 1 that she is "a clean athlete" and she is taking her case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). "Shocked, I can say, it’s very unfair what is happening, I have never taken any prohibited substances and all of it will be proven one day.

I will let the experts to discuss because they know better what happened and I am sure one day I will prove I am innocent and I am clean," Halep told Romanian journalists.

Halep: Everything that happened was unfair on every level

"Everything that happened was unfair, on every level.

I am very disappointed and I can tell I am shocked that someone can judge a sport person just by supposing and not based on concrete facts. All my blood tests were negative and there has never been found a prohibited substance in them.

There was only one urine test on 29th of August 2022 with a very small amount of roxadustat and that was it. Now I have to get to CAS, I will appeal that decision that from my point of view is not right and I hope the truth will come out one day and and I will fight until the end to prove it," Halep said.

Halep, who has been banned since 2022 October, will be eligible to return to tennis in 2026 October unless she successfully cleans her name in CAS.

In her statement issued on Tuesday, Halep said she is going to appeal the decision and is taking the case to CAS in an attempt to prove her innocence.

Simona Halep