Nick Kyrgios has weighed in on recent debates surrounding doping in tennis and has urged players ‘to stop taking shady s****’.
His outburst comes after Simona Halep was given a four-year ban, the most significant seen since Maria Sharapova was banned in 2016, after she was found to have the forbidden substance roxadustat in her system.
Alongside the drug, which is used to treat anaemia, the International Tennis Integrity Agency found irregularities in her blood passport system.
The 31-year-old, who was crowned Wimbledon Champion in 2019, has subsequently received a ban that will inhibit her from competing again until 2026.
In a statement released online, Halep said: ‘I believe in a clean sport and in almost two decades as a professional tennis player, through hundreds of tournaments and two Grand Slam titles, I have taken 200 blood and urine tests to check for prohibited substances – all of which have been clean, until August 29, 2022.’
Nick Kyrgios (pictured) has weighed in on the debates surrounding doping in tennis
It comes after two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep was banned for four years after doping authorities found a forbidden substance in her system
Halep released a statement insisting she had been ‘accidentally’ exposed to roxadustat
She added: ‘I am continuing to train and do everything in my power to clear my name of these false allegations and return to the court.’
The two-time Grand Slam winner also said she will be appealing the decision by taking the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and emphasised her own ‘shock’ and ‘disappointment’ upon learning of the news.
Several other members from within the tennis community have had their say on the news with Serena Williams and Eugenie Bouchard both taking to Twitter express their views.
The news has also sparked a wider discussion among the tennis community of doping within the sport, with current world No 9, Maria Sakkari being asked if she trusted the anti-doping authorities, with her comments drawing the criticism of Australian, Kyrgios.
The Greek tennis player said to the San Diego Open Press via The Tennis Letter on Twitter: ‘One thing I can tell you for sure is the way they’re handling every situation with any player, any athlete, it’s just scary.
‘We’re [going to] get to a point where we’re not even gonna be taking electrolytes.
‘Thankfully, I haven’t been in that position. I never want to be. I’ve been very careful with everything that has to do with supplements. But I don’t know what the process is, how things are done behind closed doors. I don’t know who has a say. I have no idea. I would for sure improve the Whereabouts app, that’s the anti-doping app. It doesn’t work well. It’s supposed to remind you every day of your time slot and it doesn’t.
‘They tried to improve it, but it’s not working very well. For us, we travel so much compared to other athletes. It’s just very stressful. I wake up almost every night to use the bathroom. If that’s close to my time slot, I’m just thinking ‘Do I go? Do I not go? Do I just wait if they come?’ It’s just very stressful.’
Those statements brought the comment from Kyrgios, who added his take on the situation, disagreeing with Sakkari on Twitter.
Halep has been found to have committed two doping violations after an investigation
Many in the tennis world have given their opinion on their matter with World No 9 Maria Sakkari telling the San Diego Open Press that the ‘way doping authorities are handling every situation with any player, any athlete, it’s just scary.’
But Kyrgios hit back at Sakkari’s comments on Twitter, claiming that ‘players should just stop taking shady s***’
Serena Williams also posted a dig at rival Halep online after the Romanian prevented her from winning her eighth Wimbledon championship
Kyrgios wrote: ‘Ehhhh not really lol, I run on bananas and coke cola in 5 set battles. And my record in them speaks for itself. Maybe players should just stop taking shady s***’
‘Look yourself in the mirror at the end of the day and say yep I did it right. Not hard.’
He was also called out by Twitter users after one wrote: ‘What is your record, have you won a slam, No, Have you won a 1000 no, have you participated in the ATP Finals, have you had an Olympic medal No. What record are you talking about?’
Kyrgios responded: ‘I’d imagine if I was taking similar things to be banned for 4 years I’d have about 5 slams. Potato.’
Halep has not played since she was beaten in the first round of the 2022 US Open by Daria Snigur.