"I was told not to tweet today" - Eugenie Bouchard takes a sly dig at Simona Halep after Romanian's doping ban 

Eugenie Bouchard and Simona Halep
Eugenie Bouchard (L) and Simona Halep (R)

Eugenie Bouchard took a thinly veiled dig at Simona Halep's four-year suspension from professional tennis on Tuesday. The Canadian suggested that she had something to say about the incident but was told to keep her thoughts to herself.

Halep has been found to have breached the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme by the ITIA (International Tennis Integrity Agency). She had earlier been provisionally suspended from professional tennis for testing positive for Roxadustat at the 2022 US Open.

The ITIA reached its conclusion after collecting and analyzing 51 blood samples given by Halep. The ban, announced on Tuesday, will keep the Romanian ace out of action till October 6, 2026.

Following this, Eugenie Bouchard took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to state that she had been advised not to make any comment on Halep's situation. The 29-year-old wrote:

"I was told not to tweet today."

Bouchard had earlier found herself in the middle of a controversy after making pointed comments about the doping charges against fellow WTA players Maria Sharapova and Dayana Yastremska.

Bouchard took a dig at Yastremska's doping ban after defeating her in the first round of the 2023 Madrid Open. The tweet was later deleted.

"There's something about playing dopers in Madrid," she had written.

Yastremska received a doping suspension in 2021 but was acquitted of all the charges six months later. She resumed competing on the WTA Tour in June of that year.

Eugenie Bouchard also expressed her displeasure with Maria Sharapova being allowed to return to tennis in 2017 after her doping scandal.

Sharapova had tested positive for a substance called meldonium in January 2016. She was initially handed a two-year ban from tennis but later got it reduced to 15 months.

"She is a cheater. So, to me, I don’t think a cheater in any sport should be allowed to play that sport again. It’s so unfair to all the other players who do it the right way and are true," Bouchard told Turkish broadcaster TRT World in 2017.

Simona Halep plans to appeal her doping ban

Simona Halep pictured at a tennis tournament
Simona Halep pictured at a tennis tournament

After the announcement of the four-year suspension, Simona Halep took to social media to say that she was "shocked and disappointed" by the decision. She also asserted her innocence in the matter.

Halep added that she had never tested positive for any prohibited substance until August 2022. She argued that the positive test came after changes in her nutritional supplements, which she believes were contaminated with Roxadustat during manufacturing.

"I believe in a clean sport and in almost two decades as a professional tennis player, through hundreds of tournaments and two Grand Slam titles, I have taken 200 blood and urine tests to check for prohibited substances - all of which have been clean, until August 29, 2022," Simona Halep said.
"Ahead of the hard court season in 2022, upon recommendation from my trusted team and physiotherapist, I adjusted my nutritional supplements. None of the listed ingredients included any prohibited substances however we now know - and the tribunal agreed - one of them was contaminated with roxadustat. I was tested almost weekly after my initial positive test through early 2023, all of which came back negative," she added.

Simona Halep now plans to appeal the suspension in the sport's highest court, CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport), while also filing a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the supplements. She plans to continue her training in the meantime.

"I am continuing to train and do everything in my power to clear my name of these false allegations and return to the court. I intend to appeal this decision to The Court of Arbitration for Sport and pursue all legal remedies against the supplement company in question," the two-time Grand Slam champion continued.

The 31-year-old hopes to have her suspension period completely revoked or, at the very least, reduced. Halep's most recent appearance on the WTA Tour was at the 2022 US Open, where she lost in the first round.

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Edited by Pritha Ghosh
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