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'I Have Lived the Worst Nightmare' - Halep Maintains Innocence and Hopes for Fair Trial

By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday May 20, 2023

After receiving a second anti-doping charge, for maintaining “irregularities in her Athlete Biological Passport”, Simona Halep has gone on the offensive.

Tennis Express

The former World No.1 and two-time major champs claims that she is being “harassed” by the ITA, and that they are out to get her for reasons she does not understand.

"Since October 7, when I got charged by the ITIA for a suspicion of doping, I have lived the worst nightmare I have ever gone through in my life,” Halep wrote on social media. “Not only has my name been soiled in the worst possible way, but I am facing a constant determination from the ITIA for a reason that I cannot understand, to prove my guilt while I haven’t EVER even thought of taking any illicit substance.”

Halep has been off the tour since early October after initially testing positive for the banned substance Roxadustat at the US Open. The Romanian maintains her innocence, saying she never took anything illegal in her career, and that the substance had been “contaminated.” This statement has been corroborated by experts that Halep has hired to explore the merit of the case against her.

She hopes to have her case heard by an independent tribunal this month, but admits she feels helpless.

“I tried two times to have the opportunity to be judged by an Independent Tribunal and the ITIA has constantly found reasons to postpone,” she said. “Now that we have clearly established that I have been victim of a contamination, they came up with a so-called not normal evolution of my blood. Three world renowned experts that have studied my blood tests have been extremely clear that my blood is totally normal.

Halep, 31, still holds out hope that her case will be resolved so that she may resume her legendary career.

“The only thing I hope for, at this point, is to have the possibility to finally access the independent and impartial judges in a Tribunal, that will give me the chance to prove my innocence,” she wrote. “I have full trust in justice and I look forward to finally being able to present my case at my hearing that is scheduled at the end of May, after several delays by the ITIA.”