Simona Halep’s former coach says ‘no chance’ the two-time grand slam champion knowingly took banned substance
Former coach Stefano Colaictro has defended Simona Halep, saying: ‘I don’t want to insult her, but no chance that she was really ill with a banned substance’.
Halep, who reached the grand slam final with victories over Serena Williams and Venus Williams, has been linked to a failed drugs test – but the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) has said there is no substance to it.
Colaictro has been a long-time Halep supporter and, despite the controversial results, has become one of her most outspoken critics.
The Australian is now her coach and the pair will be under intense scrutiny when Wada conducts an inquiry into Halep’s career in September.
Halep broke her shoulder in October, causing her to require surgery, and then picked up a virus in the weeks leading up to the Indian Wells quarter-finals.
The 29-year-old, currently riding high after winning her third grand slam title and third Australian Open title, has insisted she has no reason to fear being found with a banned substance.
But her former coach has said there is a ‘high chance’ Halep knowingly took the substance.
On Tuesday, the Wada president, Olivier Niggli, announced there was ‘no substance’ to the alleged doping charge.
Niggli said: ‘There is absolutely no substance to any evidence that Wada has as far as I am aware.
‘I have to make that clear.’
Halep has vehemently denied the Wada claims, with her spokesperson, Sarah Lee, having said: ‘Simona is the most humble, humble person I know.
‘She doesn’t even want to let on to people how she feels. She is the most humble, the most humble to me. She does not want anyone to know how she feels.’
Halep was left with a nasty shoulder injury, which saw her take several days off the court
The Swiss tennis star, who first stunned the tennis world by winning the