(Paris) “They are not only killing my reputation, but also my career”: former world tennis No.1 Simona Halep, suspended for almost eight months for an anti-doping rule violation, accused authorities responsible for fighting against doping to harm him by delaying the examination of his file.
The 31-year-old, winner of Roland-Garros in 2018 and Wimbledon in 2019, has been provisionally suspended since October 7 after testing positive for roxadustat at the US Open in August.
This banned molecule stimulates the production of red blood cells and is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Halep faces up to four years of suspension in this first case.
But she assures that experts have demonstrated that this prohibited substance had found its way into her body following contamination of a food supplement and protests her innocence, demanding to be heard.
She had mentioned at the end of April a possible hearing on May 28. But, she wrote Wednesday evening in a message posted on her social networks, “the ITF (ITIA) (International Tennis Integrity Agency which acts by delegation from the International Tennis Federation, editor’s note) again and for the third time postponed my hearing for a month. »
“I have been waiting to be tried since last October […] I requested, as provided for in the anti-doping rules, a speedy hearing, it is my right, it is written in the rules”, continues the one who is still 34th in the WTA world rankings.
In the meantime, she observes, she could not play the Australian Open and will miss the French Open at Roland-Garros, which begins on Sunday, then Wimbledon (from July 3 to 16).
“The disregard for the rules on the part of the ITF (ITIA) relating to the speedy hearing I am entitled to is such a mark of contempt for me that I have no words,” concludes- She.
No immediate comment could be obtained from the ITIA, which announced on Friday that Simona Halep was facing a new case in relation to “irregularities” in her biological passport data, a violation separate from the case that caused his provisional suspension.
Halep then denounced a form of “harassment” against him.