Simona Halep’s lawyer accuses: “ITIA is an institution aimed at destroying athletes”

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Simona Halep’s lawyer accused the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) of not trying to discover the truth in the doping case.

Simona Halep received a 4-year suspension for doping from the Sport Resolutions tribunal, and the International Tennis Integrity Agency published a 126-page file containing numerous aspects of the trial.

The file contains information about the identity of the people who would have recommended the contaminated supplement to Simona, but also details related to the arguments brought by the former world leader regarding the irregularities in the biological passport.

On the other hand, Bogdan Stoica (photo), Simona Halep’s lawyer, provided new details about the relationship with the International Tennis Integrity Agency, which he says did not agree to cooperate and discuss to discover the truth.

“We also did tests with a volunteer who ingested the collagen also used by Simona, according to the quantities and protocol per day. After a period of 3-4 days, a urine test was done which came back positive for roxadustat, thus confirming collagen contamination and the fact that that collagen could cause a positive sample. All this was passed on to ITIA and we offered to meet with the ITIA experts to re-test and come to a common conclusion, immediately accepting that Simona’s test on 29 August 2022 was positive.

We no longer contested that it would not have been a valid test. There were differences between sample A and sample B. It happens when the amounts detected are so small, absolutely tiny. ITIA refused any form of discussion cooperation, they didn’t even allow us to go to their laboratory in Salt Lake, they did their own tests with their own equipment and methods and informed us that they detected roxadustat in those samples,” said the lawyer.

“I don’t know if I could talk about bad faith, but I think ITIA is not an institution aimed at finding out the truth, but at destroying the athletes it investigates. Of course, they are in a position of prosecutors and they understand that, we perfectly agree that Simona had a positive test. We were open to discussing a sanction that we would accept immediately, but they did not agree. They wanted to drag out all the procedures, to use experts to prolong all the procedural stages. I can only think that an institution like this, with a huge budget, feels the need to justify its existence because it has only had a few cases. When it comes to a top athlete, it matters even more. In the discussions we had, they were betting on the idea that it could lead to some kind of recognition of the consumption of prohibited substances. Knowing Simona’s profile, he said that he never admits to you that he consumed something if he didn’t, he could have given him 100 years,” Bogdan Stoica told DigiSport.

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