Caroline Wozniacki reportedly urges colleagues not to vilify Simona Halep

Anirudh
Caroline Wozniacki has urged fellow players to not vilify Simona Halep until the final verdict comes out.
Caroline Wozniacki has urged fellow players to not vilify Simona Halep until the final verdict comes out.

(Edit: Caroline Wozniacki has since come out stating that the quotes attributed to her are not true and were taken from someone impersonating her. The journalist who posted the quotes, Jon Wertheim, has himself admitted the mistake and made changes to the original story post haste.)


Caroline Wozniacki has urged fellow players to not vilify Simona Halep following the announcement of her four-year ban from tennis.

The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) handed Halep a four-year ban for breaching the sport's anti-doping program. She had tested positive for Roxadustat at the 2022 US Open and has been on a provisional suspension ever since.

An individual tribunal set up to investigate Halep recently decided in favor of banning her from participating in any tennis-related activities for a period of four years. When the news was made public, players, pundits, and fans had mixed reactions to it.

While some came out in support of her, some stayed silent on the issue. But a few, notably Serena Williams, her husband Alexis Ohanian, and Canada's Eugenie Bouchard, took thinly-veiled digs at Halep on social media.

Former World No. 1 Wozniacki has now come out in support of Halep and has urged her peers to show some respect to the 31-year-old, at least until the final verdict is out.

“Rivals’ opinions affect the public opinion. There should be more respect, at least till the final verdict. And everybody should treat the case ‘exactly’ as the final verdict released without assumption,” she said (via Sports Illustrated).

“If it’s contamination, then it’s just a contamination, not a whole career of cheating! How can [accused athletes] return to the sport if everyone is treating them as a cheater? Destroying career and life because of a contamination!! … everyone could be in the same situation," she added.

Wozniacki also questioned why only athletes get penalized while their teams, the people tasked with handling everything for them, are never held responsible.

“Its not fair, at all, that athletes receive all the punishment without the team. They hire staff to do the work for them; they’re not nutrition or chemical experts. The staff should receive the big part of the punishment … it’s their responsibility,” she said.

Like Wozniacki, 18-time Grand Slam champion Martina Navratilova also came out in Halep's defense recently and called for her to be given the benefit of the doubt.

“Someone told me that players are hating on me because I beat them” - Simona Halep on players taking a dig at her

Simona Halep at the 2022 US Open.
Simona Halep at the 2022 US Open.

In a recent interview, Simona Halep stated she was well aware of her fellow WTA tour players taking subtle digs at her after the news of her four-year ban was announced.

The former World No. 1 stated that while everyone has the right to judge her, she believes players were directing their ire at her because they lost to her over the years.

“I think everyone has the right to judge me because the tribunal decided that I have the fault here. Someone told me today that those players who are hating on me because I beat them,” she expressed.

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Edited by Sankalp Srivastava
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