Simona Halep drugs ban: Former Serena Williams coach takes ‘responsibility’
Serena Williams’ former coach Patrick Mouratoglou has admitted he was ‘responsible’ for the doping ban handed to Simona Halep.
Halep hired Mouratoglou at the start of the 2022 season following his enormous success with Serena Williams, and she was able to win the Canadian Open that year under his tutelage.
However, the former Wimbledon champion’s career currently stands in ruins as she serves a four-year ban handed to her by the International Tennis Integrity Agency in September.
The ban follows the Romanian testing positive for banned blood-booster roxadustat at the US Open last year, although she is continuing to proclaim her innocence – and with good reason according to Mouratoglou.
“I feel confident for the future of Simona with her appeal to the CAS because it is an independent tribunal, Mouratoglou said. “We have been able to establish where the contamination comes from.”
“We proposed to her to take the collagen and we brought her collagen from a company. This collagen happened to be contaminated.
“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.
Patrick Mouratoglou finally publically takes responsibility for what happened to Simona and says he is confident in her appeal with the CAS.@pmouratoglou: “I feel responsible for what happened because it’s my team, so me basically, who brought her (Simona) this collagen.” pic.twitter.com/83RGSHUiIt
— Romanian Tennis (@WTARomania) November 3, 2023
“We have done all possible tests to be able to establish that we are talking about a contamination. I’m very confident that this independent tribunal will recognise 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.”
Simona Halep drugs ban
The drugs ban handed down to Simona Halep is essentially a career-ending decision.
The former world number one will be 35-years-old when the suspension expires in 2026, and at that age it will surely be next to impossible to regain her former level after such a long time away from the game.
She has always insisted she was innocent, and following the ban she told Front Office Sports that she considered the ruling a ‘complete shock and disaster.’
“When I received the decision, I was in complete shock,” she said. “I could not believe that they suspended me for four years when we found the contamination and my blood was totally normal.
“They didn’t find anything bad in my blood. It’s crazy that they made this decision with everything [her legal team presented]. They judged me on scenarios. There is no proof. It’s just insane.
“Mentally, it’s been a disaster for me because I wasn’t expecting something like this. I’ve always been careful with what I put in my body, and I have never taken something without checking. So, it is a shock.”
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