Halep, destroyed in Canada: “Doping continues without any shame!”. Acidic editorial about Simona's file

In Romania, the vast majority of people enjoy the imminent return of Simona Halep (32 years old) to the WTA circuit, at the Miami Open (March 19-31). Which is understandable, considering that we are talking about the best tennis player in the history of the country.

Simona Halep

But if we browse the international press and go through the comments here, devoid of the emotional factor, we will find that this Halep case raises big questions. Because, as we were told, the decisions from Sport Resolutions and the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, the first with a suspension of 4 years, the second with a reduced one to 9 months, clash head to head. And they come after the examination of identical evidence, but interpreted completely differently by the two sports courts!

This disturbing situation reinforced, once again, the impression that, in reality, doping is not really wanted in performance sports. Of course, from time to time, some ultra-mediatized cases appear, such as the one with Halep, but, including here, the end of the story was a happy one for a sportswoman accused, at one point, of blood doping. That is, a particularly serious crime which, at CAS, was simply erased. Starting from here, the columnist Cathal Kelly wrote an acid text in the Canadian publication “The Globe and Mail”. In which he demanded, no more, no less, the removal of anti-doping tests from sports, so that everyone can rest easy!

Don't ask tough questions and try not to overindulge. Doping continues without any shame“. Thus begins the text signed by Cathal Kelly. Which, in the introductory part, gives an example from American football: “Have you ever watched an NFL game? Does it make any sense to you that 124 pound men each run like they are sprinters? And that only 0.5% of them are caught using banned substances? Naturally there is no logic. But the NFL has found the solution to this problem: don't ask the hard questions! Hockey, basketball and football (no – the European version) – in fact, all the sports where big money is involved – have taken the same approach“, is the first fragment of the text that appeared in “The Globe and Mail”.

Even so, from time to time, a fool who doesn't understand how the system <> gets caught. And turned into an example to demonstrate that testing works. But most athletes understand how this game works. Then we have the Olympic sports. Which added a layer to this masquerade. Test more in the eyes of the world. But the net into which cheaters fall is left wide open. And those who shake their elbows long enough get away” continued Cathal Kelly.

Cathal Kelly, The Globe and Mail

Cathal Kelly, The Globe and Mail

Further, the transition is made to the Halep case: “The former world No. 1 was suspended for 4 years. Her sins: testing positive for a banned substance and abnormal values ​​in her biological passport. Like everyone who finds themselves in such a situation, Halep wasn't just upset. She was furious! Has there ever been a caught athlete who raised his hand and said, “They gave me some pills and I took them''? Because such a reaction would be much closer to the truth. But what actually happens is that when an athlete is caught, he claims to be more than clean. And that he crosses himself, only when he walks through the cold and flu medicine section of a pharmacy“.

“Halep did everything she had to do to get suspended”

Cathal Kelly offered his perspective on how to “cut” Simona's suspension, after the call from TAS: “It was concluded that Halep did not intend to use the banned substance that was detected in her system. And that he didn't intend to play for the rest of the season when he had abnormal blood test values ​​(no – due to nose surgery). In other words, Halep did everything she had to do to get suspended. But the people who made the decision in her case felt she had learned her lesson and gave her a reduced suspension. Halep and her team hailed the CAS decision as a victory. But at no point does the CAS decision present Halep as innocent. And yet, why was Simona suspended for 4 years, if we wanted to get here? The only plausible explanation is that they wanted to send a message, that they wanted Halep, as well as her colleagues in the circuit who followed the case, to be scared. It's an approach that has been tried in the past and failed every time in performance sports“.

The Canadian journalist's conclusion? An extremely tough one: “There are a million reasons why athletes use banned substances. And now there are a million excuses: <>, <>, <>. If we're going to accept those kinds of excuses, then let's accept anything. But, realistically speaking, the only way in the fight against doping is to have zero tolerance. But such a thing was never possible. The world of performance sports knows this, it just can't say it out loud. That's why really smart competitions have long since given up trying to identify cheaters and don't even talk about it anymore. In this context, the logical solution would be to give up anti-doping tests for good. But with such an approach, we would recognize a truth. That is why testing, as it is now done, continues. And tennis goes even further on this scale of hypocrisy and claims that no one should dope. Even those who dope. And because they fail to keep their dictated sanctions, the tennis people have only one weapon in this fight: the humiliation of those caught. It's just that every time you watch a cheap show like this, the sequence of events is the same: humiliation, denial of charges, negotiation and acquittal. Do you think any doped athlete feels ashamed after such a story?“.

Patrick Mouratoglou also let it be understood that tennis is full of doped people

Patrick Mouratoglou also let it be understood that tennis is full of doped people

Others said the same thing before Simona's sentence was commuted!

It is not the first time that the world press speaks openly about the tolerance of doping in performance sports. Immediately after Halep was suspended for 4 years by Sport Resolutions, the British journalist, Damian Reilly, tennis specialist, signed a scathing text in “The Spectator”. And Reilly, in turn, offered some shocking insight into the Halep case. Concretely, he insisted, with arguments, that doping is widespread in the world of tennis. It's just that both ATP and WTA circuit officials and journalists turn a blind eye because no one wants to muddy the waters in an industry that involves huge sums. In this context, Reilly was of the opinion that “Simo” was just unlucky to be caught, categorizing her suspension as an unnecessary decision. Because, said the British, the big problem, namely the systematic doping of tennis giants, is under the rug!

And Patrick Mouratoglou, Simona's former coach, hinted at the same thing when Halep's trial was in full swing: “The real dopes keep playing!“. The Frenchman referred to athletes who take banned substances under the pretext of treating medical conditions. The method, called “legal doping”, is a controversial topic in sports, especially as it involves huge names such as Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal or Petra Kvitova.