"Definitely was not an intentional mistake": Simona Halep gives clean slate to ex-coach Patrick Mouratoglou in doping scandal

Thursday, 16 May 2024 at 10:10
Former world number one Simona Halep has stated that she does not believe that her former coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, was the reason she tested positive for doping.
The 32-year-old stayed out of action for more than 15 months after being tested positive for the banned substance Roxadustat. The incident happened right after the US Open in 2022, whereas she started working with a 53-year-old just months before that.
Last year, Mouratoglou, in a video posted on social media, admitted that he provided the supplement containing the banned substance but stated that he only did that because the company did not provide the information.
Halep was recently quoted in a report where stated she has always trusted the people whom she has worked with and believes that the episode happened because of an unintentional mistake.
“Definitely was not an intentional mistake or how should I say? That he wanted to make something wrong to me. No,” she said. “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. So I trusted, I work with his academy with his people and everything was fine. So it was nothing that he offered me to take something or to give me something. No, everything was clear about doping, so it's nothing that he did it in purpose, nothing.”
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Simona Halep recently returned to action after her ban for testing positive doping test was overturned.
Talking about her time off the court, Halep revealed that she opted to focus on her well-being, which helped her transform her lifestyle.
“I was focusing more on my person than [as] an athlete. So I was taking care of my body, I was taking care of my mental, I transformed everything into a personal lifestyle..." said Halep.
"I just enjoyed life day by day, that I never had the chance to live normal in this 25 years because I was always, in the schedule, always strict, always something to do. The schedule was like an army, I would say. And now it was like I could go by the pool, I could go to a hair salon, I could go to do all this stuff that a person, normal person can do it. So I enjoyed it.”
Halep returned to action again recently playing at Trophee´ Clarins where she faced McCartney Kessler in the opening round. But she quickly retired with injury after sealing the first set. So despite seemingly do it right off the court, she is yet to show it off the court. She is next pencilled in to play Rabat in the coming week where she will be joined by fellow injury returnees in Paula Badosa and Bianca Andreescu among others.

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