The tennis world was shocked upon hearing the four-year doping ban enforced on Simona Halep. She tested positive for Roxadustat at the 2022 US Open. While one side contemplated the sentence’s long duration, the other half felt like she deserved more. Serena Williams posted on X saying eight as a reference to her losing the 2019 Wimbledon final to Halep and missing out on an eighth title at the event.
It was unclear why she mentioned the Wimbledon scenario, as Halep is being banned for testing at the 2022 US Open. But Halep found support from Rennae Stubbs, a former player and Serena’s former coach.
Stubbs said, “This is hard to read. I honestly in my heart believe her & hear it in her words. I think her team has a lot to answer for in this scenario.” She said Halep’s team should try to stabilise the situation.
This is hard to read. I honestly in my heart believe her & hear it in her words. I think her team has a lot to answer for in this scenario. As an athlete YOU are responsible but u rely HEAVILY on your teams to get it right too & on this occasion it seems some blame has to be made https://t.co/W1GsJ2uXC4
— Rennae Stubbs 🟦👍🏼 (@rennaestubbs) September 12, 2023
The Australian also spoke about how athletes should be careful and how their teams should pay more attention. Stubbs said that the blame should be put on the team as it was their job to keep her safe. She has been one of the few players to support Halep in these tough times. Along with Stubbs, Halep found another supporter who had coached her at one point in her career.
Patrick Mouratoglou shares view on Simona Halep ban
Patrick Mouratoglou is known for coaching several high-profile players over the years. Halep was the last player he coached on the WTA tour and had earlier coached Serena Williams. Mouratoglou, in his post on X, said that he had been with Halep in the hearing for two days and did not align with the panel’s final decision. He said the Romanian player would never take drugs and is an integrity-filled athlete.
The 53-year-old believed that the ATP, WTA and PTPA would take the necessary steps to protect Halep’s career. If successfully enforced, the ban will end on October 6th 2026. Halep will be 34 years old by then, so it will be very difficult for her to return to the spot. Considering the adverse effects of the ban on the player, Mouratoglou felt that the decision was unfair.
— Patrick Mouratoglou (@pmouratoglou) September 12, 2023
It is said that Halep will challenge the appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sports. Halep had maintained that she had not taken it knowingly, but she will now hope the judgment will be in her favor at CAS. She has not played for more than a year on tour as fans wait to see her again.