Coach Darren Cahill reacted to the ITIA hitting Simona Halep with a second anti-doping charge as the coach says he is “standing behind every single word” he made about the Romanian back in October. In late October, the ITIA announced that one of Halep’s samples was positive for the banned substance Roxadustat.
Cahill, who worked with Halep for a total of six years and guided the Romanian to two Grand Slam titles, insisted in October that there was not a slim chance the former world No 1 would ever take a banned substance knowingly.
On Friday, the ITIA handed Halep a second charge over “irregularities” in her athlete biological passport. “I stand by every single word of my original statement way back in October. My belief and support of Simona is unwavering.
I look forward to her having the chance to present her case to the independent panel asap,” Cahill tweeted.
I stand by every single word of my original statement way back in October. My belief and support of Simona is unwavering.
I look forward to her having the chance to present her case to the independent panel asap.
pic.twitter.com/spVi9ckWVu — Darren Cahill (@darren_cahill) May 21, 2023
What Cahill said about Halep in October?
“Even though I’m no longer working with Simona, I’d like to speak clearly to the person I know and the athlete that I worked with for 6 years.
Firstly, and most importantly, there is NO chance Simona knowingly or purposely took any substance on the banned list. None. Zero. She is an athlete that stressed about anything prescribed to her by a medical professional (which was rarely), or about any supplement that she used or considered.
Simona wore out the words “please double check this, triple check this to make sure it’s legal, safe and permitted. If you are not sure, I’m not taking it.We both believe in the ITIA testing program and would often discuss the number of times she was tested, both at tournaments and randomly.
She did it without complaint, with the reassurance of knowing other athletes were being tested just as frequently. Competing against clean athletes was important to her. It’s important to everyone and while the system is not perfect, it works.
Simona’s integrity is faultless, she respects her peers, she loves the game and she always has her feet firmly planted on the ground as a humble, approachable champion. I have sat proudly in awe of the person that she has matured into, watching the compassion she has shown others.
I’m not talking about the stuff that the tennis world gets to see, I’m speaking about the kindness and care that very few are fortunate to experience. The kind of actions that are done for love and not for publicity.
Honesty has always been her greatest strength and her biggest weakness. We would often laugh about the fact that she can’t act and can’t tell a little white lie. Ask her a question in a press conference and she will blurt out an honest answer.
She wears her mood on her shoulder for the world to see, for good and for bad. That is Simo. What you see is what you get. She built an amazing career and legacy by doing things the hard way. The right way. Due process will now follow to reveal answers to many questions.
As Simona said, the hardest match of her life starts now. I believe in her. I always have and can honestly say never more than right now on this particular issue. I stand with Simo,” Cahill posted in October. In her statement from Friday, Halep accused the ITIA of “harassing” her and blamed the organization for making her live through a nightmare.