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Caroline Wozniacki Says ‘Dopers Should Not Get Wildcards’ as Simona Halep Returns from Steroid Ban

“I have always wanted a clean sport, fair for everybody," Wozniacki said after her straight-sets win on Tuesday at the Miami Open

<p>Clive Brunskill/Getty; Vaughn Ridley/Getty</p>

Clive Brunskill/Getty; Vaughn Ridley/Getty

  • Caroline Wozniacki shared her opinion on Simona Halep being offered a wild card at the Miami Open

  • The Danish former world No. 1 said she doesn't "think people should be awarded wild cards" following a player's return to tennis after a doping ban

  • Halep, who has been critical in the past of those in her current position, said she believes she "didn't do anything wrong"

In the wake of Simona Halep’s return to competition after a doping ban, Caroline Wozniacki is taking issue with the tennis star receiving a wild card entry to the first round of the Miami Open.

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On Tuesday, following her straight sets win over France’s Clara Burel, Wozniacki, 33, spoke out about the Romanian’s return — and Halep, 32, volleyed right back with her own comments.

“I have always wanted a clean sport, fair for everybody. I think it’s definitely still my opinion,” the Danish former world No. 1 told reporters, per CNN. “This is not directly at Simona, but if someone purposely cheats, if someone has tested positive for doping … I understand why a tournament wants a big star in the tournament, but it’s my personal belief, and it’s not a knock on anyone, but it’s my personal belief that I don’t think people should be awarded wild cards afterwards.”

Wozniacki — who returned to competition last June herself, three-plus years after retiring and following the birth of her two children — then clarified her assertion.

Related: Caroline Wozniacki Hopes to Show Women Can Balance Career and Family After Announcing Return to Tennis

“If you want to come back, and it’s been a mistake, I understand, you should work your way up from the bottom,” she said. “That’s my personal opinion upon things.”

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After learning of Wozniacki’s wild card pushback, Halep was seemingly incredulous: “Why did she say that?” Halep asked reporters, following her own match in which she lost in three sets.

“I didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t cheat. I didn’t dope,” Halep said. “So it’s better if we read the decision from CAS [Court of Arbitration for Sport] that it was a contaminated supplement, it wasn’t doping. I never had something to do with doping. I never doped, so I’m not a cheater.”

Halep was initially served a four-year suspension from tennis but it was later reduced to a nine-month ban.

Related: Tennis Star Simona Halep Banned for 4 Years Over 'Substantial' Evidence of Doping Violations

Halep has been outspoken in the past about other players and doping.

In 2017, Halep criticized Maria Sharapova after the latter was banned for using the prohibited substance Meldonium.

“For the kids, for the young players, it is not OK to help with a wildcard the player that was banned for doping,” Halep said at the time.

Wozniacki, too, has a concern about how the next wave of tennis players will be impacted by the issue.

“I want to have good role models for the young generation,” she said on Tuesday. “It’s a sport that has a lot of money in it, a lot of competitiveness, a lot of competitors. I want a fair fight.”

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Read the original article on People.