"If you take away these opportunities for a young woman, it’s unfair,” Boris Becker backs Halep to play at Olympic Games

Sunday, 26 May 2024 at 21:00
Boris Becker expressed his support for Simona Halep and criticized the ‘double punishment’ against the Romanian, stating that she should be allowed to play in the Olympic Games. The 32-year-old tennis player tested positive for the drug Roxadustat at the 2022 US Open, resulting in a suspension that lasted up to four years.
However, it has not been easy for Halep to return, as injuries have affected her consistency. She was injured at the WTA 125 in Paris and has struggled to obtain wild cards. Becker commented that the WTA should find a way for Halep to compete.

Halep wins doping case

Halep’s appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) was accepted, and her sentence was reduced to nine months, as reported by CAS in March of this year: “The CAS panel has unanimously determined that the four-year period of ineligibility imposed by the ITF (International Tennis Federation) independent tribunal is to be reduced to a period of ineligibility of nine months starting on October 7, 2022, which period expired on July 6, 2023.”
The Romanian has maintained her innocence since the sanction was made public and released a statement upon confirmation of her immediate return to the WTA Tour: “Throughout this long and difficult process, I have maintained my belief that the truth would eventually come out, and that a just decision would be reached because I am and always have been a clean athlete,” Halep said.
“My faith in the process was tested by the scandalous accusations that were leveled against me, and by the seemingly unlimited resources that were aligned against me. But in the end, the truth prevailed, even if it took much longer than I wish it had.”
Halep won her first Grand Slam title at 2018 French Open. She defeated Sloane Stephens 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.
“I would like to thank my lawyers who have stood with me and believed in me from the beginning; and more importantly, I want to thank my sponsors, my fans, and my competitors who stuck with me throughout this long and trying process. I cannot wait to return to the tour,” the former world No. 1 added. “I would like to particularly thank my fellow Romanians who believed unconditionally and who motivated me to take this battle to a successful and legitimate outcome.”
Halep returned after 560 days at the Miami Open after receiving a wild card. She was defeated by Paula Badosa (6-1, 4-6, 3-6) and showed a good level of tennis to put the Spaniard under pressure. However, she later declined a wild card for the Madrid Open and ended up playing a WTA 125 in Paris, where she retired in the first round due to injury in the second set.
The Romanian is currently ranked world No. 1136 and depends on tournament invitations to play on major stages. Despite being the French Open champion in 2018 (and finalist in 2014 and 2017), she did not receive an invitation from the organizers.

Boris Becker’s support

The former German tennis player came to Simona Halep’s defense: “She was penalized twice,” according to Becker. “She was penalized because she couldn’t play and penalized because she is not cleared of all charges. So it’s a double whammy."
“The WTA has to find a way that lets Halep play. She cannot be treated like this. She is not 21 anymore. The longer you wait for these decisions, big opportunities for her will go by the wayside,” the former world No. 1 added. “If she is fit, clay is her best surface and now she is missing the French Open. At Roland Garros, she always has a shot.
“The Olympics are on clay this year and if you take away these opportunities for a young woman, it’s unfair,” he added. “So I think authorities have to realize that and give her a fair shot at coming back.”

Just In

Popular News