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November 7, 2009

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Wickmayer shuns Bali after doping

YANINA Wickmayer has quit the Tournament of Champions in Bali, Jakarta, and left the resort island mid-event after receiving a doping ban from Belgian authorities, the tournament's director said yesterday.

Wickmayer, a semifinalist at this year's US 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.

Bali tournament director Kevin Livesey said that Wickmayer had left the island. She had been due to face Spain's Anabel Medina Garrigues in her final group match yesterday, and was well-placed to reach the semifinals.

The world No. 18 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.

A WTA statement on site at the tournament said: "Yanina Wickmayer has been informed of the decision of the Belgian National Anti-Doping Agency and consequently has voluntarily withdrawn from the tournament. While the tournament regrets all withdrawals, we support the WADA Code and are committed to following the decisions rendered by national anti-doping agencies."

The World Anti-Doping Agency said on Thursday it had yet to be informed of the suspensions to Wickmayer and fellow Belgian male tennis player Xavier Malisse. The International Tennis Federation (ITF), which is responsible for doping controls in tennis, said on Thursday it had not yet been informed and could not comment until it had been notified in writing by the Belgian anti-doping agency.


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