He is not allowed to play after a positive doping test. She has been suspended for eight long months and a decision in her case is still in sight. Romanian tennis player Simona Halep is running out of patience with slow justice.
Frustration and helplessness abound in the two-time Grand Slam champion. She wanted to be silent, but she couldn’t stand it and spoke.
Halepova has been temporarily suspended since last year’s US Open, in New York at the turn of August and September she tested positive for roxadustat, a banned substance that stimulates the production of hemoglobin and red blood cells.
“In my entire career, I have never even thought about cheating, it would be completely against the principles in which I was raised. Faced with such an unfair situation, I feel completely confused and cheated,” the player said in a statement at the time and hoped that she would have possibility of quick defense.
But that didn’t happen. The resolution of her case has already been postponed several times. The new date is set for the end of May, but even that is not certain.
In an exclusive interview for Tennis Majors, Halepova stated that she has collected evidence of her innocence since December. According to her, tests by experts showed that she had inadvertently taken a contaminated nutritional supplement.
She also admitted that she gets desperate while waiting in vain for the trial.
“Emotionally, it’s very difficult. The stress is huge, I never thought I would face something like that. I don’t know how to cope with it,” admitted the thirty-one-year-old Romanian.
She initially did not want to make a public appearance until the case was resolved. But the obstructions forced her.
“I wanted to stay quiet until it was all over. But now I feel the need to speak to my fans and the public. I’m sure everyone wants to know why it’s taking so long,” she said.
He considers delaying the process to be unfair. “It’s not fair to go eight months without being tried by a tribunal. They’ve had all the evidence since December. I’m not asking for special treatment, I’m just asking to be tried. How much longer is this going to take?” Halep asked emotionally.
The case is under the direction of the International Tennis Integrity Unit (ITIA), but it has already postponed the scheduled tribunal twice since February. According to the rules, a player who is temporarily suspended is entitled to an expedited hearing.
“Everything takes so long. I asked them to cancel my sanction so I could play for now. They also refused,” said the former world number one. Since October, she has undergone another ten doping tests, all with negative results.
The winner of Roland Garros 2018 and Wimbledon 2019 is eager to return to the courts.
“I would really like to play again because I love this sport. I have worked hard for it all my life. I continue training, I stay focused. Tennis is my life,” said the native of Constanta.
It eats at her that she is wasting precious weeks and months. “At my age, it’s really difficult. You’re afraid that an injury will come. When you don’t play official matches, it’s risky. When time goes by like that, it’s harder and harder to come back,” Halep added.
She was ranked 10th in the world when she was suspended in October. Now her name is in the 26th position.
Halepova | Video: Tennis Majors
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