Antwerp: Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer, a semi-finalist at this year’s US Open, is considering an appeal against a one-year ban for failing to comply with doping regulations.
“We are examining all different options...This news really hit home incredibly hard,” the tennis player’s spokesman Rudi Kuyl told a news conference.
The world number 18 was suspended by the Flemish Doping Tribunal after falling foul of the whereabouts rule, which states that players must notify their national doping agency where they can be reached on a daily basis.
An appeal is possible only at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland. However, Wickmayer’s doctor Chris Goossens said that would be a slow and costly process.
Goossens said the suspension would stand during an appeal which meant Wickmayer would be out of competition for several months at least.
Kuyl said one of the options Wickmayer’s lawyer was considering was to ask the CAS to suspend the ruling.
“They have never done this, but apparently they can do it,” he said.
Wickmayer quit Bali’s Tournament of Champions and left the resort island after receiving the ban.
Bali tournament director Kevin Livesey told Reuters that Wickmayer had left the island. She had been due to face Spain’s Anabel Medina Garrigues in her final group match on Friday and was well-placed to reach the semi-finals.
Fellow Belgian male tennis player Xavier Malisse, a former Wimbledon semi-finalist now ranked 95th, was also suspended for a year for missing a test and twice failing to say where he could be reached.
Malisse, in tears at the news conference in the northern Belgian city of Antwerp, said he thought the suspension meant his career was now over.
“It is very hard to come back...in a year’s time I will be 30 and a half. I will then have to play Challengers and Futures again. That is something I can’t really see myself doing,” Malisse said.
“It is hard to get a one-year suspension if you never used doping.”