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Ivo Ivanovic defends Simona Halep

Ivo Ivanovic defends Simona Halep

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

Simona Halep’s former coach is adamant she was not aware of the banned substance she was taking when she reached a career-first ranking of world No.1

Simona Halep’s former coach says ‘no chance’ she knew that the world No 1 had taken banned substance when she reached a career-first ranking of world No 1

Former tennis coach Ivo Ivanovic has defended Simona Halep, saying she was not aware that the player, who reached a career-best world ranking of world No 1, had been taking a prohibited substance.

Halep has been plagued by doping allegations. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has charged that she used a drug called nandrolone following a 2013 US Open loss to Garbiñe Muguruza.

“It’s been proven that the player takes the medicine as specified on the label,” Ivanovic said at a press conference in Miami on Saturday.

“I saw her taking medicine and I knew it was what the label claimed,” he said.

Ivanovic also denied saying that he “doesn’t believe Halep did it,” as reported by the Guardian, a claim he made to a journalist in July.

However, Ivanovic said that he had spoken with the player on numerous occasions over the previous two years, but has never heard her say that she had taken the banned substance.

“I can confirm, however, that I had conversations with Simona that were very constructive and that she was on the right path,” Ivanovic said.

“I do not believe that she intentionally took the medication, and as I say, on the contrary, I was very impressed by Simona’s personal dedication and the effort she was making in improving.”

Ivanovic made his comments in response to an article titled “I haven’t heard if Simona Halep was taking banned substance” published on the Guardian’s website on Saturday, in which Halep’s former coach says he doesn’t believe the two-time grand slam champion has done anything wrong.

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