‘My heart goes out to Simona Halep’ exclaims seven-time Slam champion
Simona Halep has seen Mats Wilander join the numerous others suggesting she is innocent following her doping suspension.
The former world number one has been provisionally suspended after testing positive for Roxadustat at the US Open. She is barred from attending or competing in “any sanctioned tennis events organised by the governing bodies of the sport,” according to the International Tennis Integrity Agency.
“Honestly, my heart goes out to Simona Halep,” Wilander told Eurosport. “I would never claim that I think I know her.
“I’ve watched her play a lot of tennis matches over the years. I’ve interviewed her quite a few times. And I would say that out of all the players I’ve run across, she is one of the ones that there’s no way that she would intentionally do anything.
“So I think that she’s out there, she’s said it. She’s going to try and clear her name.”
Halep’s former coach Darren Cahill insisted there is zero possibility that the two-time Major champion knowingly took a banned substance. Wilander has taken the same view, though not quite as unequivocally.
“You never know,” he continued. “It’s possible these days that inadvertently you get something in you that you might not know about or whatever.
“But again, I can’t imagine that there is an athlete out there in the professional tennis world that doesn’t know what is ok to take or whatever.
“So, I’m thinking it’s a complete mistake somewhere along the way. I think Simona Halep is a great athlete, she’s a great human being.
“I hope that she can clear her name and I want to see her back on the court and playing. Because again, I’m assuming that she’s innocent, she just has a great spirit about her.”
— Simona Halep (@Simona_Halep) October 21, 2022
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