This time, the former world no. 1 has problems with her Athlete Biological Passport, following the previous suspension after testing positive for Roxadustat. However, there seems to be much more drama than needed around her case, as the hearings and the whole process are taking too long.
Only recently, Halep broke the silence as she spoke about what she was going through, and a few weeks later, she faced another charge. This time, the Romanian called the ITIA's actions harassment and soon her coach Patrick Mouratoglou joined her in slamming the organization.
"Simona’s statement on the harassement she is victim of. This situation is going way past the limits of the acceptable."
After initially only shortly commenting on the whole matter, Mouratoglou has decided to release a full statement, even though he didn't want to do that as he wanted to stay away from public comments on the case. You can read the full statement below.
"First of all, I want to say that I had planned to stay away from any public comments on Simona Halep's case as I truly believed that the ITIA would conduct a fair investigation to establish the truth. The fact that I don't have the same feeling at all now is disturbing, and has finally brought me to write these few words."
"I have been lucky to meet Simona Hale in April 2022 and we have worked together since then. I want to say a few words about her for those who haven't ever met her: I discovered in Simona a very rare person. She is kind, she is sweet, she feels no aggressiveness and no jealousy towards anybody."
"She has devoted all her life to tennis. It is a childhood passion. Not her father's, not her mother's, only hers. It is an evidence that she has received the best education filled with extremely strong values that she keeps inside herself."
"Her honesty and righteousness is undoubtably unwavering. I know there is NO WAY she would have EVER done anything that would have been illegal."
"The support of the world of tennis for her has been extremely strong, because people who know her are convinced that she would have never done what she is accused of."
"Since the day the ITIA has charged her, I have been and will continue to be next to her every single day to support her in her fight for the truth."
"First I want to say that I am a strong advocate for a clean sport. I believe that tennis needs an anti-doping system that is able to chase the cheaters."
"This being said, I am extremely shocked by the way this case has been conducted. I thought that the ITIA would pursue the goal to establish the truth, but they clearly try to prove her guilty even though she has been able to show multiple evidence of her innocence since December 2022...."
"This last charge that has been sent to her yesterday which is totally linked with the first case is a pure interpretation of her blood passport. In other words, the ITIA hasn't found any illegal substance in her blood but just states that her blood parameters are "suspicious"."
"Well renowned expert who have checked on them, have established that this statement is totally wrong and a biased interpretation, and that her blood parameters are perfectly normal."
"Simona clearly expressed that she doesn't ask for any special treatment but the application of the rules that state that she is entitled to be judged by an independant Tribunal."
"That is why I ask the ITIA to stop this harassment that is inconceivable and to stop constantly delaying the hearing that should have been held in February and is now planned at the end of May."