Monday, December 14, 2009

Belgian court removes Wickmayer's suspension

Yanina Wickmayer's one-year suspension was removed today by a Belgian court. The suspension was imposed--despite the prosecutor's recommendation of imposing a warning only--because of the Belgian player's failure to report her whereabouts to anti-doping authorities three times during 2009. The International Tennis Federation then made the Belgian ban international.

The ITF has yet to comment on the the reversal. Wickmayer also appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sports, and will get a ruling from that body within the next three months.

Now comes the twist: The World Anti-Doping also appealed to CAS--to give Wickmayer (and countryman Xavier Malisse) a two-year suspension instead of a one-year suspension.

To add to the complexity of this issue, Wickmayer's attorneys are planning to challenge the "whereabouts rule" in the European Commission in Brussels and the European Court of Human Rights.

It is still unknown whether Wickmayer will be able to compete in the ASB Classic next month. She was given a wild card to the New Zealand tournament.

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