Simona Halep’s coach, Patrick Mouratoglou has vowed to help her prove her innocence after she was issued a provisional suspension for using a banned substance.
The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) announced Halep’s suspension earlier in October after both samples she provided at the US Open came back positive for Roxadustat, which is a prohibited substance. That result required a provisional suspension, but Halep denied any wrongdoing.
Mouratoglou, who has worked with Halep since the start of the year, says he knows Halep is a “model of integrity.”
He also noted that he has “never faced a situation like this” in his three decades of working alongside professional athletes.
“First, I want to express how much of a shock our team has been in since Simona informed me about the positive doping test from the US Open,” Mouratoglou wrote on social media. “In almost 30 years of working with hundreds of professional athletes, I have never faced a situation like this.
“Knowing Simona well, I can assure that she is a model of integrity,” Mouratoglou wrote. “She is totally against any form of doping, and I know it has never crossed her mind to take any forbidden substance. I trust her 100%. Together, we will fight to prove the truth.”
“I appreciate that many people from the tennis world who have closely worked with Simona or have known her personally for many years have spoken up. I want to thank those people for expressing loudly in such an important moment that Simona is a woman of value. Their words of certitude convey a strong message that I stand by.”
Immediately following the suspension, Halep released a statement of her own in which she denied knowingly taking any prohibited substance. She said she would work tirelessly to prove that she is innocent.
“Throughout my whole career, the idea of cheating never even crossed my mind once, as it is totally against all the values I have been educated with.
“I will fight until the end to prove that I never knowingly took any prohibited substance and I have faith that sooner or later, the truth will come out,” Halep wrote on Twitter.