WTA chief Steve Simon says he believes that Simona Halep didn’t knowingly or purposely take a prohibited substance. Last month, the ITIA announced that Halep was being provisionally suspended after testing positive for the anti-anaemia drug Roxadustat After the announcement was made, Halep released a statement in which she strongly denied knowingly or purposely taking a prohibited substance.
Halep vowed to “fight until the end” and promised she would do her best to clear her name. “I believe her that she didn’t intentionally do something here. That being said, I do believe very strongly in our anti-doping program, and I think it’s a good one, and our players support it, too.
And if you ask Simona, she supports it. I’m very confident that as we go through the process, the truth is going to come out, and we will deal with it accordingly. But I have a lot of sympathy for Simona, because I would never question her integrity,” Simon told The Associated Press.
WTA chief Simon throws his support behind Halep
Halep described testing positive for a prohibited substance as “the biggest shock” of her life. In her statement, Halep sounded confident that truth would eventually come to light and show that she was innocent.
“I have been notified that I have tested positive for a substance called Roxadustat in an extremely low quantity, which came as the biggest shock of my life. Throughout my whole career, the idea of cheating never even crossed my mind once, as it is totally against all the values I have been educated with.
Facing such an unfair situation, I feel completely confused and betrayed. I will fight until the end to prove that I never knowingly took any prohibited substance and I have faith that, sooner or later, the truth will come out.
It’s not about the titles or money. It’s about honour, and the love story I have developed with the game of tennis over the last 25 years,” Halep said in a statement.