Romania, Grand Slam champ, Mouratoglou, drug ban: Everything you always wanted to know about Simona Halep (but never had time to find out) – updated with appeal to CAS

Two-time Grand Slam champion, Simona Halep is one of the biggest stars in Romania. Here is all you need to know about the former world No 1

Simona Halep with her 2019 Wimbledon trophy in Bucharest Simona Halep with her 2019 Wimbledon trophy in Bucharest

You can follow Simona Halep on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Who is Simona Halep?

Simona Halep is Romania’s most successful ever female tennis player. A former world No 1, Halep has won two Grand Slam singles titles and 24 singles titles worldwide. She is currently serving a four-year suspension after being charged with two separate breaches of the sport’s antidoping rules, following a failed drug test at the US Open in 2022. The Romanian has filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), asking them to overturn the ban.

Is Simona Halep currently banned from the WTA Tour?

Yes. On October 21, 2022 it was announced that Simona Halep has been provisionally suspended after testing positive for a banned drug at the US Open. The former world No1 returned a positive sample, for Roxadustat, an anaemia drug.

Halep issued a statement of her own, saying that she would prove that she did not take anything intentionally. “I will fight until the end to prove that I never knowingly took any prohibited substance and I have faith that sooner or later, the truth will come out,” she said on Instagram.

On May 19,2023, the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) charged Halep with a second doping offence over “irregularities in her athlete biological passport”.

Halep issued a statement, strongly denying the charges, saying that she felt “helpless facing such harassment” and looks forward to clearing her name in an independent hearing in late May.

However, in September 2023, an independent panel handed a four-year suspension to Halep for two separate breaches of the sport’s antidoping rules. The Romanian has said she was shocked to learn about the decision and has filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on the same.

When can Simona Halep return to competitive tennis?

As things stand, Halep is in the midst of serving a four-year suspension and is ineligible to play professional tennis until October 6, 2026, by which time she would be aged 35. Things could change if she wins her appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which she filed in October 2023.

Has Simona Halep said anything else about her case?

After being suspended for four years, Halep issued a statement, in which she said she will not accept the decision and plans to continue “to train and do everything in my power to clear my name of these false allegations and return to the court. I intend to appeal this decision to The Court of Arbitration for Sport and pursue all legal remedies against the supplement company in question.”

In April 2023, Halep gave an exclusive interview to Tennis Majors in which she expressed her frustration at the length of time it is taking for her to have her hearing into the case. Halep denies ever knowingly taking any banned drug and insists she will clear her name. “I just ask to be judged,” Halep said.

The Romanian also issued a statement on May 19, 2023 to strongly deny the second doping charge levied against her by the ITIA.

Was the hearing schedule for the Simona Halep case delayed?

On May 24, Simona Halep issued a statement stating that the independent tribunal hearing for her case, which was scheduled for May 28, has been postponed once again. This was the third time that her case has hearing has been postponed.

“Once again, tonight, I am devastated,” Halep said in a social media post. “The ITF (ITIA) (International Tennis Integrity Agency) has once again, for the third time postponed my hearing one month later… I have asked, as the rules of anti-doping state it, for a quick hearing: this is my right, it is written in the rules. Not only they are killing my reputation, but also me as a professional player, and I don’t even talk about the consequences on my mental health. This disrespect of the rules by the ITF regarding the fast hearing I am entitled to have, is so disrespectful to me that I have no more words… ‘Justice delayed is justice denied.’”

Why did Simona Halep end her season early in 2022?

For a few reasons. First, Halep announced that she is divorcing her husband, Toni Iurac after less than a year together; then she revealed she would be undergoing nose surgery to cure long-term breathing problems. On September 15, Halep announced that she would not be playing again until 2023 as she recovers, physically and mentally, from a testing year. Then in October, 2022, it was announced that she had tested positive for a banned drug and would be serving a provisional suspension.

When was Simona Halep born?

Simona Halep was born on September 27 1991, in Constanta, Romania, the country’s fifth-most populated city.

How many Grand Slams has Simona Halep won?

The Romanian has won two major singles title. She triumphed at Roland-Garros in 2018, and claimed the Wimbledon title in 2019. Her Wimbledon final performance against Serena Williams was one of the best performances of her career. Remarkably, Halep committed just three unforced errors in the final.

In July 2022, she reached her third Wimbledon semi-final – and eighth Slam semi-final overall – by beating Amanda Anisimova 6-2, 6-4.

How tall is Simona Halep?

Halep’s height is 5’6” (168cm), according to her profile on the WTA official website.

Who is Halep’s husband?

Halep married Toni Iuruc, a Macedonian billionaire who owns several companies in Romania, on September 15, 2021. The two-time Grand Slam champion previously talked about the impact of the relationship, to Romanian public channel TVR1.

“Now I am more relaxed and open. I have a dear person. We have a normal relationship, I feel very well. But I would like it to stay personal. I belong to Romania when it’s about tennis. Love and tennis can coincide, but I think personal life is the most important one. I am dating someone and I would never be able to sacrifice my family for tennis.”

But in September 2022, Halep announced that they were to divorce.

Romanian media previously speculated she was dating Romanian sportsmen, such as football player Radu Barbu, a former u-21 international, or tennis player Horia Tecau, a two-time men’s doubles Grand Slam winner with Jean-Julien Rojer and Wimbledon mixed doubles champion with Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

Who is Simona Halep’s coach?

As of April 7, 2022, it was confirmed that Simona Halep would be working full-time with Patrick Mouratoglou, the long-time coach of Serena Williams. Since her suspension, Mouratolgou has worked with Holger Rune, though that partnership has come to an end now.

“She has been No 1 (she became No 1 for the first time in October 2017 and last held top spot in January 2019), she has won Grand Slams (French Open 2018 and Wimbledon 2019),” Mouratoglou told Tennis Majors. “There is no reason why she couldn’t or she wouldn’t be able to do that again. She’s a champion. I also feel that she has a big margin for improvement in many aspects, and she’s still very hungry. So I think it’s a fantastic basis to build something and with the goal to do at least as good as before.”

Patrick Mouratoglou and Simona Halep
Patrick Mouratoglou and Simona Halep at the Mouratoglou Academy – Tennis Majors

Halep was previously coached by Darren Cahill, the pair sharing six years on Tour together – in two stints – during which the Romanian won her first Grand Slam title in 2018. Halep has also been coached by Wim Fissette, Daniel Dobre, Ioan Stan, Adrian Marcu and Victor Ionita.

When did she begin playing tennis?

Halep began playing tennis at four years old, following his brother to a training session. At first, she’d train twice a week with Ioan Stan, before training every day from the age of 6. She left Constanta for Bucharest at 16. She won the Girls’ French Open in 2008, her lone Grand Slam junior title. This trophy propelled her to the junior world No. 1 ranking. She is a Justine Henin and Roger Federer fan.

Who is Simona Halep’s agent?

Halep’s career was managed by Virginia Ruzici since 2008 until 2022. She became the first Grand Slam champion from Romania at the 1978 French Open. She also won the women’s doubles tournament at Roland-Garros that same year, partnering up with none other than Mima Jausovec… the very player she beat in the singles’ final! Ruzici, who won 12 titles in her career, was ranked 8th at her best, in May 1979.

She is now being managed by Nina Wennerstrom, who founded Wesport sports management agency in 2014 and currently serves as the company’s CEO.

Who is Ion Tiriac, her mentor?

An ice hockey Romanian Olympic team player in 1964, Tiriac is also a former pro tennis player (world No 8 after a quarter-final showing at the 1968 French Open) and is now the Romanian tennis Federation president. Tiriac became the third-richest person in Romania, according to Forbes, developing successful businesses. He got close to Halep in 2014. Tiriac has also been managing Lucas Pouille’s interests since 2016.

Simona Halep with mentor Ion Tiriac during 2019 US Open
Simona Halep with mentor Ion Tiriac during 2019 US Open

When did Halep have a breast reduction?

Halep admitted she had a breast reduction in 2009. In a Sports Illustrated interview before the 2018 French Open, she pointed at this event as her biggest sacrifice in life to eventually become world No.1. “When I did it, I did it for tennis.” She previously said that this operation helped her gain “ability to react quickly” on court.

How many titles has Halep won?

The Romanian has won 24 WTA singles titles in her career. Besides her two Grand Slam titles, she has won 9 WTA 1000 series titles, including Dubai (2014, 2015), Indian Wells (2015),Madrid (2016, 2017), Rome (2020) and the Canadian Open (2016, 2018, 2022).

What is Halep’s net worth?

Simona Halep has won more than $40 million in prize money, as of September 2022. She was the fourth-highest earning sportswoman by Forbes between June 2018 and June 2019, with $10.2 million (approx. 8.6 million pounds) – $6.2 million from tournaments and $4 million in endorsements. She is currently under contract with Nike ($1.7-million deal), Wilson, Mercedes Benz or Hublot.

Halep has been selected by Forbes in its annual “30 Under 30 Europe” list, in the “Sports and Games” category. Halep has been chosen in particular for her real estate interest, with her investment in an hotel in Poiana Brasov, one of the most popular skiing resorts in Romania.

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