Fellow Romanian tennis players have voiced their support towards Simona Halep, while the player faces a provisional suspension for testing positive for doping.
It was announced on Friday that Simona Halep had tested positive for a banned substance called Roxadustat during the 2022 US Open. The two-time Grand Slam champion, however, maintained that she had never knowingly consumed any prohibited substance.
"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," she stated.
Since the revelation, many fans and colleagues have stood with Simona Halep, who has otherwise built a career on the principles of honor, fairness and love for the sport. Halep was especially supported by her colleagues from her home country of Romania.
Extending her support, former World No. 58 Jaqueline Cristian said that the 2019 Wimbledon champion was her idol growing up and applauded the countrywoman’s strive to become successful in a small country like Romania. She further expressed a strong belief that Halep would not cheat.
"I grew up watching her matches and lifting trophies, I looked up to her as a great player and I took her as an inspiration because I know how hard it is to make it to the top, especially when you come from a small country like Romania. She is a true champion and I strongly believe she didn’t cheat or take anything from that doping list! Stay strong and fight your way out of this! I’m sure things will turn around well for you!" she wrote.
Former World No. 20 Mihaela Buzarnescu also spoke in favor of her compatriot.
"Simona Halep, fingers crossed for you. We all know what a fighter you are," she wrote.
Sorana Cirstea, who hasn’t had the best relationship with the compatriot and rival, also showed support for the former World No. 1.
"Although we may not be the best of friends, I know Simona well enough for decades to strongly believe that she would never willingly and in good faith touch any doping substance. The sport of tennis represents fair play and puts rivalries aside. She is a great player that I believe won through her own merits," she said.
"Simona Halep would never cheat" – Halep’s ex-husband Toni Iuruc comes to her defense
Simona Halep’s ex-husband Toni Iuruc, who married the tennis star in 2021, but separated days short of their first anniversary, came to her defense during the tough ordeal. He made a firm statement saying that Halep was the last person to partake in doping.
"I've known Simona for three years, of which at least two in the circuit, and I swear to you that this girl, my ex-wife, is obsessed with one thing: honor! You can take anything from Simona, (but) if you (take) away her honor, her fairness, you kill her!"
"I don't know what happened there with that test, but it's probably a mistake. Simona would not have done such a thing even if you had cut off her hand to stop playing tennis. Simona Halep would never cheat, her career is her shield and I know her best," he said.