Mouratoglou 'Feels Responsible For What Happened' In Halep's Doping Ban

Mouratoglou 'Feels Responsible For What Happened' In Halep's Doping Ban

by Nurein Ahmed

Renowned French coach Patrick Mouratoglou has bitten the bullet and taken the blame for Simona Halep's doping offense.

In his first public interview about the incident that landed Romania's most prominent tennis player in hot water, Mouratoglou 'feels responsible' but remained confident of a successful appeal that Halep lodged at the Court of Arbitration of Sport last month.

Halep was infamously hit with a four-year doping ban from tennis when an independent tribunal concluded there was "illicit blood manipulation" for a positive test of the prohibited Roxadustat substance and for a second charge related to irregularities with her biological passport.

In a video he shared on his Instagram account, the Frenchman argued that the banned substance was contaminated with collagen he had recommended to Halep. However, it was impossible for him or his team to know it given the minute quantities involved.

"I feel confident for the future of Simona Halep with her appeal to the CAS because it is an independent tribunal. We have been able to establish where the contamination comes from. So we proposed her to take collagen and we brought her collagen from a company."

"This collagen happened to be contaminated, there was no way to know it. But I feel responsible for what happened because it's my team. So it's me basically who brought her this collagen."

"We have done all possible tests to establish that we are talking about a contamination. I'm very confident that this independent tribunal will recognize that she never did doping, she was a victim, and she has to come back to the court and compete as soon as possible."

Even though Mouratoglou is optimistic that Halep and his legal team will overturn the ban, the former President of the Romanian Tennis Federation is not holding any hope, having cast doubt on the Court of Arbitration for Sport's questionable testing processes in the past.

In the same video, Mouratoglou explained how small quantities of contaminated supplements could put players at risk of testing positive for banned substances in the World Anti-Doping Agency code. He compared the low levels of contamination having zero effect on performance, and as a consequence, athletes could be potential victims.

"It opened my eyes to the fact that any athlete can become contaminated tomorrow because apparently, this happens more and more. We're talking about extremely low levels of something. It has zero effect, but you happen to have in your system something that shouldn't be there."


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