Simona Halep’s former coach says ‘no chance’ the two-time grand slam champion knowingly took banned substance doped-up to help her prepare for Wimbledon in 2014.
Athletic trainer David Ralston said he was unsure whether Halep, then 20, was given the drug in the United States or abroad, and believed it was an unauthorised supplement of Ritalin, a psychoactive medication which can cause negative effects such as confusion and memory loss.
“I do believe in God, but I’m not a doctor,” Ralston, a former coach for Michael Jordan, told ESPN on Friday.
“If you are not in a hospital, you are not taking a medication, you are taking your normal dose of medication.”
Halep was given a prescription for diazepam, a muscle relaxant, after she broke the wrist of a friend during a training session and required surgery.
Ralston also said the tennis star is unsure how she contracted the drug.
“You can’t give it to anyone. You can’t be that careless. The question is how she got it. It’s a little difficult to prove,” Ralston said.
Athletic trainer David Ralston says he believes Halep knew diazepam was a banned substance when she was given it. (Getty)
Ralston said a doctor would have cleared her.
“You would be pretty hard-pressed to say that, because you would have to have an opportunity to examine her,” he said.
“You could be in a meeting and it could have come out on the table and they could have said, ‘We need to take that drug off this table and we need to remove it.'”
Ralston said he had never heard of an athlete knowingly taking banned substances, but he believed it was highly unlikely because the athlete’s medical records were available when she was examined.
“It’s hard to believe that they knew. That would be a pretty big thing if she had knowledge in those things. It’s certainly possible in this sport,” Ralston said.
Ralston also said the athlete was a “very happy young lady” after she received her first round of treatment at the Baylor Clinic, where she was prescribed Ritalin and other medications.
“She was very happy with the recovery when she had the surgery, she was very