Wickmayer and Malisse tennis ban suspended

The Court of First Instance in Brussels suspended a one-year ban imposed on tennis players Yanina Wickmayer and Xavier Malisse for violating anti-doping regulations. The court cites administrative errors with the way the ban was imposed.

"The ruling is complex but the bottom line is that the ban is suspended," Yanina Wickmayer's agent Rudi Kuyl told reports on Monday.

Yanina Wickmayer, 20 years old and a semi-finalist at this year's U.S. Open, was given a one-year ban in November for failing to comply with tennis's stringent anti-doping regulations. The world number 16 failed three times to notify her country's doping agency where she could be reached.

Xavier Malisse, a former Wimbledon semi-finalist and world number 19, was also suspended for a year for missing a doping test and twice failing to say where he could be reached. The 29-year-old said last month that the suspension would probably mean the end of his injury-riddled career.

Both Wickmayer and Malisse announced last month that they were appealing against their bans to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

While the decision by the Belgian court means both players could play again, there were still legal details to be worked out before the suspensions were completely cleared.

Wickmayer gets a wildcard for New Zealand tournament

In the meantime Yanina Wickmayer has been offered a wildcard entry to the WTA tennis tournament in Auckland which takes place from Jan 4 to 9. Tournament director Brenda Perry said, "We've confirmed that if she's allowed to play we're offering her the wildcard," Perry said. "As our entries have closed the only way she could enter would be via wildcard, and the indication is she wants to play and now we just have to wait for officials to confirm she is allowed to."

A spokesperson for Wickmayer said after the court's ruling on Monday that she is hoping for a wildcard entry to the Australian Open in January too, as entries have now closed as well.