Author: Nicole

Jiri Ferraiuolo says he has “no chance” of believing Simona Halep made a mistake

Jiri Ferraiuolo says he has "no chance" of believing Simona Halep made a mistake

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


After admitting he was present during a 2016 tennis match when Simona Halep knowingly took a banned substance, her former coach Jiri Ferraiuolo says he has “no chance” of believing the No. 7 seed made a mistake.

“I would say, it has no chance that there wasn’t a plan,” he said on a live TV interview on Sunday’s Tennis Channel’s podcast, which also aired following the Italian’s second-round loss to Andrea Petkovic in Rome.

“You have to be very, very careful to make sure that you don’t use that kind of substance — even though you are a tennis player. It’s not easy to say no but it’s the best thing you can do.”

A day after making the claim, the 54-year-old Ferraiuolo was fired by Halep’s former coaching firm in Italy after the world No. 8 failed a drug test.

Ferraiuolo took a two-year leave of absence from his job as the director of physical therapy and fitness at the Cipriani Academy in Milan and is living in Switzerland.

The tennis coach said that, prior to Halep’s 2016 match against Elina Svitolina in Rome:

Halep was diagnosed with a type of viral infection called Shingles, which causes blisters on the back and sides of the body. She was diagnosed with the disease just days before the match against Svitolina.

Halep had a virus, or a cold, on the day of the match.

When Halep was shown at a press conference about the virus, Ferraiuolo said on the show: “I could have brought up any other topic — but I don’t want to tell you what I think, because I want to protect the person [Halep].”

He explained later that he was only trying to protect Halep, who is in great physical shape.

“I don’t want to put her at risk,” he told reporters at the press conference.

At the press conference, Halep said she did not take any drugs — instead saying: “I did

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