Simona Halep's Wimbledon fate set as rules confirmed for returnees from drug bans

Friday, 14 June 2024 at 13:57
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Simona Halep is free to set her stall out for a wildcard like any other player according to those who run Wimbledon after her drugs ban prior which saw her banned technically for 9 months for the substance Roxudustat.
Her ban was reduced and Halep maintains her innocence and that she shouldn't be treated like other athletes who doped. But she has thus far struggled for game time and also wildcards with some tournaments such as Roland Garros either using their own rules or deciding against handing her wildcards.
But Wimbledon is very much pertinent as despite Halep being a former champion at the tournament, Maria Sharapova famously wasn't allowed a wildcard for the tournament despite being a huge name in the sport. A bone of conjecture also with Caroline Wozniacki.
This saw a row between the pair as Woznaicki believed that she should go back to playing lower level and working her way up instead of taking wildcards that at least for now Wozniacki benefits from. Halep has suffered with injury since her return so it is unknown whether she will even play at Wimbledon or attempt to. But there is no such blanket ban on returnees. The caveat though is that they will be considered by a committee so while it is not in the rulebook, players such as Halep could be refused out of hand for prior misdemeanours.
“Obviously that’s a hypothetical question,” the club’s Chief Executive Sally Bolton said when asked about Halep applying for one.
“Our wildcard committee meet and make those decisions, they haven’t met. They will be making an announcement about the wildcard decisions on the 19th of June so I wouldn’t want to pre-judge a consideration of the wildcard committee.”
Club Chair Deborah Jevans added: “Once a player has served any drugs ban, they’re then free to compete in the circuit and as such the wildcard committee would consider that and their performance when considering that wildcard. As Sally said, the wildcard committee will meet and make that determination.”

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