November 5, 2009 / 9:12 PM / 9 years ago

Wickmayer banned for doping rule break - report

Belgium's Yanina Wickmayer hits a return to Romania's Alexandra Dulgheru during their second round match at the WTA tennis tournament of Luxembourg October 21, 2009. REUTERS/Sebastien Pirlet

LONDON (Reuters) - Belgium player Yanina Wickmayer, a semi-finalist at this year’s U.S. Open, was handed a one-year ban on Thursday for failing to comply with doping regulations, a report on the Belgium Tennis Federation’s website said.

Fellow Belgian Xavier Malisse has also been suspended for a year for a different doping offence according to the report on the website (

World number 18 Wickmayer was suspended by the Flemish Doping Tribunal (VDT) after falling foul of the “whereabouts rule” which states that players must notify their national doping agency of where they can be reached on a daily basis.

The report says Malisse, a former Wimbledon semi-finalist, missed a drugs test.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF), which is responsible for doping controls in tennis, said it had not been informed of the suspensions while the women’s WTA Tour said it was also unable to comment.

“Before we can comment on doping cases until we have been notified in writing by the Belgian anti-doping agency and that has not happened as yet,” an ITF spokesman said.

The World Anti-Doping Body (WADA), whose doping code was signed by the ITF in 2004, said in a statement it had yet to be informed of the suspensions to Wickmayer and Malisse.

Wickmayer was competing in the Tournament of Champions in Bali this week and was scheduled to face Spain’s Anabel Medina Garrigues on Friday.

Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Pritha Sarkar

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