Former American tennis player Patrick McEnroe recently weighed in on Simona Halep’s positive doping results.
It was announced that Simona Halep had tested positive for a prohibited substance called Roxadustat during the US Open. McEnroe, in his podcast – Holding Court with Patrick McEnroe, put forth his opinion about the scandal. The retired player and commentator noted that, although there was no question about the two-time Grand Slam champion’s polite persona, one could not use that fact to argue that she did not consume an illegal substance. He further emphasized that Simona Halep did not question the result itself.
“As far as I know her, (she has) been a tremendously polite, nice person, but again, that is neither here nor there when it comes to whether or not she actually took the drug or not. She is not saying (that) she didn’t take the drug. At least in her comment, she is saying that she never knowingly took any prohibited substance,” he said.
McEnroe also mentioned the on-going speculation that somebody, unknown to Simona Halep, could have given her the illegal substance. He said that, in such a scenario, although a positive test would remain, the Romanian could get a reduced punishment.
“Someone could have given her vitamins, recovery stuff that’s legal and then, possibly could have given her something that was also, illegal, so obviously the athlete has to be well aware of that. Let’s just say, for the sake of the argument that , that happened. Then, it’s still a positive test. Now whether it gets proven somehow that somebody gave it to her and she didn’t know about it, maybe that could make whatever ban she gets, not quite as serious,” he said .
Patrick McEnroe was ultimately of the opinion that Halep couldn’t be considered a victim and that she should have been more responsible.
“I don’t think we should say that Simona, in this case, is a victim. You have to be, as an athlete, responsible. She’s a grown woman. She’s a very successful tennis player throughout her career,” he noted.
“She is an athlete that stressed about anything prescribed to her” – Simona Halep’s former coach defends her amidst doping scandal
Simona Halep’s former coach, Darren Cahill, who coached her between 2016-2021, came to her defense amidst the doping scandal.
Cahill expressed his trust in the 2019 Wimbledon champion, declaring that there was “zero” chance that she consumed any prohibited substance on purpose. He also noted that the Romanian was always particular about any prescribed medications.
“Firstly, and most importantly, there is NO chance Simona knowingly or purposely took any substance on the banned list. None. Zero. She is an athlete that stressed about anything prescribed to her by a medical professional (which was rarely), or about any supplement that she used or considered. Simona wore out the words ‘please double check this, triple check this to make sure it’s legal, safe and permitted. If you are not sure, I’m not taking it’,” he noted.
The coach, who currently works with Jannik Sinner, further shed light on Halep’s admirable character.
“Simona’s integrity is faultless, she respects her peers, she loves the game and she always has her feet firmly planted on the ground as a humble, approachable champion. I believe in her. I always have and can honestly say never more than right now on this particular issue. I stand with Simo,” he said.