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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday November 4, 2023

Patrick Mouratoglou, the coach of Simona Halep, maintains his feeling that Halep is a victim and has been unfairly handed a four-year doping ban by the powers that be.

Tennis Express

In a video that was recently posted on Instagram (see below) Mouratoglou also said that he feels partly responsible for the Romanian’s demise, as he was the one who recommended and introduced collagen as a supplement to Halep, which ultimately was the contaminated substance that led to her positive doping test.

“This collagen happened to be contaminated, there is no way to know it, but I feel responsible for what happened because it’s my team, so me basically me, who brought her this collagen," Mouratoglou, who commenced officially working with Halep less than six months prior to her testing positive, said.

The 32-year-old Romanian, a two-time Grand Slam champion and former World No.1, was handed a four-year ban by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) for "intentional" doping offences, but she has now appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), requesting that the challenged decision be set aside and that her sanction be reduced.

Mouratoglou is holding out hope that Halep’s appeal will be upheld by the independent tribunal.

“I am very confident that this independent tribunal will recognize the fact that she never did doping, that she is a victim and she has to come back to the court and be able to compete as soon as possible,” he said”

Mouratoglou says the whole experience has opened his eyes to the danger of players taking contaminated substances.

"It opened my eyes on the fact that any athlete can become contaminated tomorrow because apparently this happens more and more," Mouratoglou added.

"This is terrible because you are completely innocent, your reputation is impacted, hurt by the fact that your name has to do with doping even though you didn't do any doping. Your career is stopped for a period of time that is extremely long. It can affect your whole career, it affects your reputation for a very unfair reason because you have done nothing.”