Outpouring of support for Romania's Simona Halep after doping accusation
Messages in support of Simona Halep flooded the public sphere after the famous tennis player tested positive for a banned substance at the US Open.
“I support you 100% in this fight, Simona. All the way through,“ said Patrick Mouratoglou, Simona Halep’s tennis coach, in a post on Instagram.
Darren Cahill, Simona’s previous coach, also posted a message of support. “There is NO chance Simona knowingly or purposely took any substance on the banned list. None. Zero,” wrote Cahill. “Simona’s integrity is faultless, she respects her peers, she loves the game and she always has her feet firmly planted on the ground as a humble, approachable champion,” he added.
Cahill also noted how Simona would stress over any medicine or supplement given to her and would ask her staff to triple-check it.
Toni Iuruc, Simona’s ex-husband, confirmed Cahill’s point in a later message. “Simona was obsessed with not making mistakes. […] She never even drank water if the bottle was not sealed. She would always unseal it with her hand. She was always careful. She wouldn’t even take Vitamin C without first asking the doctor,” Iuruc said, cited by GSP.
Romanian tennis players Sorana Cîrstea, Jaqueline Cristian, and Mihaela Buzărnescu also wrote messages in support of Simona Halep. "I hope she will fight and shed light on this case, for her and for our beloved sport. WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) is a very professional entity that will help her uncover the truth,” said Cîrstea, who ranks 39th in women’s singles.
Some Romanian political figures also weighed in on Halep’s situation. “I don’t know Simona Halep personally, but I followed her career and her behavior on the court and outside of it. I believe in her innocence regarding the doping accusation. The presumption of innocence also applies in these situations,” wrote Romanian minister of justice Cătălin Predoiu on Facebook.
Simona Halep is Romania’s best female tennis player in history. She became world no.1 in women’s tennis in October 2017 and defended the position until 2018. She is ranked 10th in women’s singles at the moment.
Halep was temporarily suspended from the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) this weekend after testing positive for a banned substance. The WTA is looking into whether or not she took the banned substance, Roxadustat, knowingly. Used to treat anemia, the substance facilitates the circulation of oxygen in the blood and boosts resilience, according to Digisport.
(Photo source: Mircea Nicolescu | Dreamstime)