"Too little too late" - Serena Williams' ex-coach on Patrick Mouratoglou feeling responsible for Simona Halep's doping ban, says he "f**ked her over"

Simona Halep (L) and Patrick Mouratoglou (R)
Simona Halep (L) and Patrick Mouratoglou (R)

Serena Williams's former coach Rennae Stubbs has shared what she thinks about Patrick Mouratoglou's admission that he feels responsible for Simona Halep's doping ban.

Halep has been on the sidelines since she tested positive for Roxadustat at the 2022 US Open. In September, the former World No. 1 received a four-year ban from the ITIA (International Tennis Integrity Agency) for 'intentional' breaches of the sport's anti-doping rules.

However, Simona Halep and Patrick Mouratoglou both insisted that the Roxadustat in her system resulted from a contamination. Despite the verdict, the Romanian has reaffirmed her innocence and has appealed to the CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) to seek a reduction in her sentence.

Earlier this week, Mouratoglou took to social media and said that he and his team had established the source of the contamination to be a collagen supplement. The Frenchman also admitted that he felt responsible for Halep's doping ban as the supplement was recommended by him.

"This collagen happened to be contaminated, there was no way to know it. But I feel responsible for what happened because it's my team. So it's me basically who brought her this collagen," he said on Instagram.

On the lastest episode of 'The Rennae Stubbs Tennis Podcast,' Stubbs suggested that Mouratoglou's timing in revealing this information might be an attempt to influence the CAS into granting a more lenient verdict for the Romanian.

"I have no insight into why he decided to come out now but I agree with you, it is too little too late. And unless he’s saying it now with the CAS, the arbitration whatever you call it, coming out where they have to go in front of them and hopefully they can get a little bit more of a lenient sentence, and he’s trying to put it out now for that particular court battle. Maybe he thinks it might sway CAS into saying yup, but a lot of people are like her passport was a little unusual," she said at 35:25 of the episode.

Stubbs also highlighted that Simona Halep had made significant changes to her coaching team in April 2022, with Mouratoglou becoming her full-time coach. She speculated that Mouratoglou and his team may have introduced the collagen into the Romanian's system to address her calf injury, which subsequently "f**ked her over."

"And then also you changed teams within six months. And she was dealing with a lot of injuries, remember the calf muscle issue she was having, various different things and they probably were trying to figure out a way to help her with that calf muscle injury," she said.
"I don’t know, I’m completely speculating which I probably shouldn’t do, but I have to think that maybe they were trying to get that injury going and fixed and get her back on track and they felt that you talked about collagen and yada yada and brought that into her you know trying to get that into her system and and it f**ked her over," she added.

"I'm very confident that this independent tribunal will recognize that Simona Halep never did doping" - Patrick Mouratoglou

Simona Halep and Patrick Mouratoglou
Simona Halep and Patrick Mouratoglou

In his statement on Instagram, Patrick Mouratoglou expressed confidence in Simona Halep's appeal to the CAS, citing faith in the fairness of the process as it would be overseen by an independent tribunal.

"I feel confident for the future of Simona Halep with her appeal to the CAS because it is an independent tribunal," he said.

The Frenchman also emphasized the reliability of the tests conducted by him and his team, stating that they confirmed that the irregularities in her system were solely a result of contamination.

"We have done all possible tests to establish that we are talking about a contamination. I'm very confident that this independent tribunal will recognize that she never did doping, she was a victim, and she has to come back to the court and compete as soon as possible," he added.

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Edited by Urvi Mehra
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