Simona Halep - Melbourne Summer Set 2022

Simona Halep admits ‘it will probably be the end’ of her career

Simona Halep has confessed that if her doping ban appeal is rejected then she is likely to retire, as the former No.1 reveals that she will no longer be working with Patrick Mouratoglou. 

Halep has been out of action since losing in the first round of the 2022 US Open, where it was announced that she had tested positive for the banned substance roxadustat.

The Romanian was later charged with a second anti-doping charge by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA), relating to her biological passport, resulting in her receiving a four year ban upto 7th October 2026.

In a report released by the ITIA on the announcement of Halep’s suspension, it acknowledged that a collagen supplement was contaminated with the banned substance, but stated that the level of roxadustat meant that there must have been another source.

Halep has consistently maintained her innocence throughout the process and has now spoken out after her coach at the time, Patrick Mouratoglou, admitted that he felt responsible for the contamination.

“Indeed, it came out publicly (Mouratoglou’s comment on the matter). I wish he had done this a little sooner,” Halep told Euronews. “It was hard for me because I always trusted my teams, previous teams and everyone I work with. I always had confidence, and my confidence is now a little shaken.”

The two-time Grand Slam champion has elected to appeal the case, which will be judged by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) between February 7th-9th.

And the 32-year-old has admitted that if her appeal is not successful then she is unlikely to return to the WTA Tour, “More than a year has already passed, and every day I felt it very painfully, full of emotions. It was a shock to me when I received the letter that my urine test, only my urine test, was positive. I know I haven’t done anything wrong and I know I’m clean. I have always been against doping.

“Four years is a long time at my age. If it’s four years, I don’t know how I’ll manage. It will probably be the end of my career. Yes. And for something I didn’t do and isn’t my fault, it’s even more catastrophic.”

Inside the baseline…

Halep’s case has been a very complicated process that has had its verdict continually pushed back. It has no doubt been a very frustrating process for the former No.1, who has always denied knowingly taking roxadustat, but the ITIA has to be thorough when it comes to the integrity of the sport at hand.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.