Ex-coach Darren Cahill breaks his silence on the end of Simona Halep’s doping ban

Simona Halep celebrates
Simona Halep in action

Simona Halep has been lauded by her former coach Darren Cahill ahead of her comeback at the Miami Open.

At the 2022 US Open, Halep tested positive for the prohibited drug “roxadustat.” Her biological passport also included ‘anomalies’ according to.

In September 2023, the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) subsequently banned her for four years on both offences.

Throughout the entire situation, Halep insisted on her innocence, and she took the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland, to contest it. Last month, the Romanian received a favourable decision from CAS.

The ITIA was ordered by the CAS to compensate Halep, and her four-year term was shortened to nine months.

Cahill, Halep’s coach from 2015–18 and 2020–21, has said he never questioned the Romanian’s innocence over the whole of the 18-month ordeal.

“For me, it was the highlight of the year [Simona Halep’s doping ban being overturned], and I’ve had a really good year so far this year with everything Jannik [Sinner] has done. But it’s been 18 months of torture for her”, Cahill said on Sky Sports.

“I’ve always believed in her, always known that she would never deliberately or knowingly take anything that was wrong or banned, and that came true, when they went to CAS in Lausanne, and the truth came out”, he added.

“So, I know she’s been through a tough moment, a tough period of 18 months and I’m super proud of the way she has handled herself and the way she has carried herself throughout this entire and I could not be happier to see her playing in Miami. I can’t wait to see her this week.

READ MORE: Simona Halep releases emotional statement as her doping nightmare ends

Halep has been handed a wildcard entry into the Miami Open after seeing her ranking collapse in her absence from action.

She has enjoyed support from several notable figures in the game including former world No 1 Chris Evert.

I know her and I think I’m good with people. I’m very happy for her,” Chris Evert said.

“Simona is a person with a work ethic, extremely disciplined and principled when it comes to training and tennis. I never doubted her innocence for a second.”

Evert believes Halep has every chance of getting back into the top ten and challenging for big titles.

“Simona can certainly return to the top of the world women’s tennis,” Evert said.

“The break period was long, it’s true, but she has an extremely strong character.

“And let’s not forget the desire for rematch she has now. That could make the difference,” she added.