Romanian tennis player Sorana Cirstea has voiced her criticism of Serena Williams’ “arrogant” reaction to Simona Halep’s four-year ban for violating anti-doping rules. Last week, Halep was charged with two breaches of the Tennis Anti-Doping Program. The first charge was related to a positive test for the banned substance roxadustat during the 2021 US Open. The second charge pertained to irregularities in Halep’s Athlete Biological Passport.
In response to the charges, Halep maintained her innocence and vowed to appeal the ban. Halep, a two-time Grand Slam champion, notably defeated Williams in the 2019 women’s singles final at Wimbledon. Following Halep’s ruling, Williams took to social media to suggest that she should be awarded the Wimbledon title, eventually giving her an eighth All-England Club crown and bringing her total Grand Slam titles to 24, equaling Margaret Court’s record.
Cirstea criticized Williams’ comment, describing it as a display of arrogance in regard to winning. She stated, “Serena as a player was extraordinarily good. As a person, she always had this arrogance. She didn’t accept when someone could beat her or took a title from her.”
Halep maintains that one of her nutritional supplements was contaminated with roxadustat and plans to take legal action against the supplement company involved. Cirstea also defended her countrywoman, expressing her belief that Halep did not knowingly violate any rules and stating, “This suspension is for an innocent person. I know Simona. I don’t think she ever consciously doped.”
Halep’s ban, which has been backdated, will be effective from October 7, 2022, until October 6, 2026.
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