Halep given four-year ban from tennis over doping offences
Nick Kyrgios has slammed Simona Halep by claiming he would have five Grand Slams if he were taking ‘similar things’. The Romanian tennis star was handed a four-year ban from tennis on Tuesday following breaches of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme, and Kyrgios did not hold back in his comments about the two-time Major winner.
Halep has been suspended after an independent tribunal ruled that the two-time Grand Slam champion had committed “intentional” anti-doping violations. She tested positive for the use of roxadustat, which stimulates the production of red blood cells, at last year’s US Open.
The 31-year-old was also found guilty of using an unspecified prohibited substance or method in 2022 after irregularities were found in her biological passport. She plans to take an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Australian star Kyrgios has now hit out at suggestions that the anti-doping procedure is ‘scary’ and ‘stressful’ after Maria Sakkari said: “One thing I can tell you for sure is the way they’re handling every situation with any player, any athlete, it’s just scary. We’re gonna get to a point where we’re not even gonna be taking electrolytes.”
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READ MORE: Two-time Grand Slam champion served four-year tennis ban[TENNIS]
Adding that the anti-doping app needs to be improved to ensure players know their testing timeslots, she added: “I wake up almost every night to use the bathroom. If that’s close to my time slot, I’m just thinking ‘Do I go? Do I not go? Do I just wait if they come?’ It’s just very stressful.”
Kyrgios laughed off Sakkari’s comments by pointing out that he ‘runs on’ fruit and cola during gruelling five-set matches. He then snapped back at criticism by a fan who pointed out his lack of Grand Slams.
Responding to Sakkari’s remarks, the 28-year-old wrote on X: “Ehhhh not really lol, I run on bananas and coke cola in five-set battles. And my record in them speaks for itself. Maybe players should just stop taking shady s***. look yourself in the mirror at the end of the day and say, ‘yep I did it right’. Not hard.”
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One tennis fan replied: “What is your record, have you won a slam, No, Have you won a 1000 no, have you participated in the ATP Finals, have you had an Olympic medal No. What record are you talking about?”
But Kyrgios slapped back with a fiery dig at Halep, tweeting: “I’d imagine if I was taking similar things to be banned for four years I’d have about five slams. Potato.”
Halep’s four-year ban is backdated and is therefore due to end in October 2026. She insists she will fight the decision in the CAS after pleading her innocence.
Her statement read: “I am continuing to train and do everything in my power to clear my name of these false allegations.
“The last year has been the hardest match of my life, and unfortunately my fight continues. I have devoted my life to the beautiful game of tennis.
“I take the rules that govern our sport very seriously and take pride in the fact I have never knowingly or intentionally used any prohibited substance. I refused to accept their decision of a four-year ban.”
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