Cleared? Not so fast – Simona Halep's interview met with fans resistance

Thursday, 16 May 2024 at 16:00
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Simona Halep's interview with Jon Wertheim for Tennis Channel was released in full on Wednesday, but it wasn't met with the best reaction with tennis fans accusing the interview of being spin to avoid the fact of the matter.
Halep's interview with Wertheim was long teased and finally released to the public as one of the first sit downs with the former World No.1 after she won her appeal at CAS reducing her ban from four years to nine months.
But while that is the case, the gripe that many had with this was that it was spun in the way that she was cleared to return to the sport having never served the ban in question. This in reality is not the case. Halep protested her innocence throughout and still does to this day.
She tested positive for the substance Roxudustat during the US Open back in 2022 after losing to Daria Snigur. From winning in Montreal to her life being turned upside down, she promptly left tennis to have nose surgery but then was banned soon after following the US Open test.
It was established that Patrick Mouratoglou's team were behind this with Halep being coached during this period by the ex coach of Serena Williams and the current coach of Holger Rune. Supposedly a collagen supplement which had the substance inside but not knowingly was given to Halep. Her ex-coach even went to court to admit this.
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Simona Halep technically wasn't cleared despite the narrative being as such which has irked tennis fans.
"So integrity is probably the most important thing for everybody. I wanted just to show the truth. I fought for this. I knew the day was going to come even if it took so long," said Halep to Tennis Channel.
"I always respected tennis and I wanted people to know, understand and finally to be said by CAS that I didn't do anything wrong to tennis. This was the most important victory. I really have it inside and I will keep it for all my life. Even if I went through some really difficult moments, I would feel good that everything is clear."
But the tag line of being cleared put by Tennis Channel to promote this interview went down firmly like a lead balloon. "Tennis media bending over backwards to spin this lie is insane. She was not cleared," one user wrote.
"She was not cleared. Y’all are just plain lying now," another responded. "Terrible piece. She wasn’t cleared, there’s no truth here. She’s sketch. Maria took her hit, this one didn’t. Is ANYONE ever gonna discuss Henin retiring WEEKS before 3x defense of the French? Then appearing A YEAR later. Dirty," another said.
"What do you mean being cleared? She was not cleared. Please keep at least shreds of ethics in journalism and present facts," a further poster wrote.
The interview which was highly lauded before it was released seems to be gaining traction but of the wrong kind. Halep on court has only played twice. She lost to Paula Badosa at the Miami Open on her return a mere week after her verdict.
Injuries prevented her from taking to the court from there with Trophee´ Clarins her next stop. She won the first set in a good start against McCartney Kessler, but retired in the next set. Clutching her knee and seemingly not in match shape, it seems that it will be a while until she is back to her best. She is due to play Rabat next week, but won't play Roland Garros.
This is despite the fact that she was seen playing on the practice courts at Roland Garros with Alize´ Cornet. But in reality, she will now not likely be back until Wimbledon. A former champion at SW19, the question will remain whether they will give her a wildcard. She has only received wildcards for Miami and Madrid, both IMG event since returning as well as Rabat. So whether the LTA or tournaments in Germany afford her the same privilege remains to be seen.

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