Author: Judith

Simona Halep lied about taking zonisamide during the 2016-17 season

Simona Halep lied about taking zonisamide during the 2016-17 season

Simona Halep’s former coach says ‘no chance’ the two-time grand slam champion knowingly took banned substance

It was the final day of Wimbledon and Simona Halep was still celebrating. A day after becoming the first tennis player to take part in nine Wimbledon finals, her coach had confirmed her return to the tournament.

But at 6 o’clock in the evening, she was lying in bed with a prescription for a drug called zonisamide.

Zonisamide is a cancer drug used to reduce the pain from diabetes, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. Halep had been prescribed it by her doctor because she had been diagnosed with arthritis.

The 36-year-old’s coach, Martina Navratilova, described the drug as her first “big mistake” but did not believe Halep had taken too much.

It has been revealed she had lied about taking the medication throughout the 2016-17 season.

“No chance,” said the former world No 1. “I was really angry with Sim. I told her, ‘I am never going to let you play again’. It can’t be any worse.”

She added: “I couldn’t believe her. She was with an agent and she lied to him, to the US Tennis Association.

“She is so stupid. We all tried to make it look like it was a mistake, and then there will be some sort of disciplinary action.”

Image: Simona Halep has been banned from all tournaments since May 2017

She said: “We decided afterwards to give her the medication to relax her muscles. She was taking so much medication. She was very upset with me. We both felt I was trying to protect her.”

Halep started 2015 as the world number one and has since had the worst season of her career. She has won just three titles and one of her titles came at the Miami Open. Halep, who turned 40 last month, says she is not ready to retire at the age of 40.

She is still competing in her adopted homeland of Serbia. At the Hopman Cup, a series of elite men’s tennis tournaments held in Australia and New South Wales over July-

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