The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) is responding strongly to the accusations launched by Simona Halep, who said she does not understand why her hearing, at the Sport Resolution tribunal, could be postponed again. The officials sent a statement in which they explained that they made this request because they want both cases, in which the athlete from Romania is targeted, to be analyzed in a single hearing, in order to “avoid” more deadlines.
Desperate reaction from Simona Halep: “I’m devastated”
UPDATE 24 May, now 10:53pm: Simona Halep reacted publicly, after the International Tennis Integrity Agency postponed the hearing for the third time. The athlete accused ITIA representatives of having a totally disrespectful attitude towards her, the decisions made significantly affecting her mental state.
“Once again, tonight, I am devastated. The ITF (ITIA) postponed my hearing for the third time, again for another month.
I have been waiting to be tried since last October. In December I was finally able, thanks to the experts, to prove that the batch of supplements I was using was contaminated, hence the positive test result.
I asked, as the anti-doping regulation provides, for a quick hearing: it’s my right, it’s written in the regulation! Unfortunately the ITF (ITIA) postponed my hearing three times, denied my right to be tried by an Independent Tribunal. It has not allowed me to participate in any tournaments for the past 8 months.
Now I know for sure that I will miss the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon. I don’t mention that I lost all the points, the ranking. Not only is it killing my reputation, but I also don’t want to discuss the effects on my mental health.
The ITF’s (ITIA) failure to follow the rules regarding the hearing I am requesting is totally disrespectful. I have no more words… Justice delayed is justice forbidden”, Simona Halep sent on her accounts on social platforms.
The International Tennis Integrity Agency responds to Simona Halep
There is increasing tension. Simona Halep has learned that the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has asked the Sport Resolutions tribunal that her hearing no longer be held on May 28, as scheduled. So far this hearing has been postponed twice, although the athlete has requested an “emergency procedure” and claims that she has all the evidence to prove that she is not guilty. The player said she felt “bullied” and was supported in this protest by coach Patrick Mouratoglou.
The ITIA responded with a statement and reminded that Simona Halep has two problems: the allegations of doping with Roxadustat and the question marks regarding the biological passport, about which the officials communicated for the first time a few days ago. Basically, it is about a new suspicion that the athlete from Constanța would have used certain prohibited tactics. Officials argue that these two situations are closely related and want Halep to present her views on both issues in one hearing.
“I proposed that both charges be tried at the same appearance to avoid multiple hearings. For this to happen, we want all parties involved, including the Tribunal, to have sufficient time to process the large amount of evidence in this case.
Ultimately, the decision belongs to the Court. Simona Halep will also have the chance to present her arguments in front of the Court”, reads the reaction of ITIA, quoted by Express.
At the moment there is no clear date on which Simona Halep will be heard. The athlete from Romania was provisionally suspended on October 7, 2022, after Roxadustat was discovered in her body, during an anti-doping test carried out at the US Open 2022. Her defenders claim that it is an accidental contamination of the nutritional products that uses them.
Eight months ago, Simona Halep was ranked 9th in the WTA, and this week she started at the 34th position in the world ranking. llie Năstase exclusively told playtech.ro that he is convinced that the accusers postponed the trial of the athlete because they do not have enough evidence to show that it is doping.
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