Romanian Simona Halep’s coach Patrick Mouratoglou says he feels guilty for doping scandal
Patrick Mouratoglou, Simona Halep’s coach, recently said that he feels responsible that his team provided the tennis player with the allegedly contaminated collagen supplement that she argues led to her positive doping test.
After the 2022 US Open, Romanian tennis star Simona Halep tested positive for roxadustat, a banned substance that essentially enhanced performance. The test led to her being banned from playing tennis for four years.
“There is no way to know it, but I feel responsible for what happened because it’s my team, so me, basically me, who brought her this collagen," Mouratoglou, who started officially working with Halep less than six months prior to her testing positive, said, cited by Tennis.com. "It opened my eyes to the fact that any athlete can become contaminated tomorrow because apparently, this happens more and more," Mouratoglou continued.
"This is terrible because you are completely innocent, your reputation is impacted, hurt by the fact that your name has to do with doping even though you didn't do any doping. [...] it can happen to anyone, and the companies that you decide to go with for supplements, you have to be sure at 100% that this cannot happen,” he also said.
In May of this year, Simona Halep was hit with a second anti-doping violation over apparent irregularities in her athlete's biological passport. In September, the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) handed down a four-year ban to Halep, one that she's appealing.
Patrick Mouratoglou has been one of Halep's staunchest and most vocal supporters since news of her positive test broke a year ago, and that continued this week. He echoed the Romanian's claims of "harassment" from the part of the ITIA and expressed hope that Halep's ban will be overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
“We have done all possible tests to establish that we are talking about contamination. I’m very confident that this independent tribunal will recognize the fact that she never did doping. She is a victim and she has to come back to the court and be able to compete as soon as possible,” Mouratoglou said.
(Photo source: Simona Halep on Facebook)