Simona Halep shares how she feels about ex-coach that took the blame for doping ban | Tennis | Sport

Simona Halep has addressed her former coach Patrick Mouratoglou after the Frenchman took responsibility for her doping ban. The two-time Grand Slam champion had her four-year suspension reduced to nine months after appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, with the panel accepting her argument that she ingested a contaminated substance. It was Mouratoglou and his team who provided Halep with the supplement.

Halep tested positive for the banned substance roxadustat in a test taken during the 2022 US Open. She was provisionally suspended in October of that year and received a second, separate doping charge relating to her athlete biological passport a few months later. An independent tribunal upheld both charges and banned the Romanian for four years last summer.

But she successfully appealed to CAS this February, and they threw out the ABP charge and accepted her argument that the roxadustat came from a contaminated collagen supplement, provided by her team. By the time Halep’s appeal was heard, her former coach had already taken responsibility and admitted that he and his colleagues decided to get the former world No. 1 to take collagen. 

In November, Mouratoglou made a statement after the International Tennis Integrity Agency’s report showed that it was Halep’s physio Candice Gohier who recommended the supplement. “I feel responsible for what happened because it’s my team, so me basically me, who brought her this collagen,” he said in an Instagram video.

Halep and Mouratoglou ended their collaboration long before she was allowed to return to the tour, and the Frenchman has been working with Holger Rune on and off for more than a year. The 32-year-old has now shared her feelings towards Mouratoglou, explaining that she doesn’t feel any animosity towards him.

“Definitely was not an intentional mistake or how should I say? That he wanted to make something wrong to me. No,” she told Tennis Channel. Halep also quashed rumours that Mouratoglou exploited her, explaining that she had no reason not to trust him.

The 2019 Wimbledon champion continued: “And I heard many voices [say] that I was manipulated by him. That’s not true. He was my coach and I always trusted the people I work with . . . So I really believe that if you don’t trust in your team, you cannot perform at your maximum level.

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