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Second Serve - A Tennis Now Blog

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It is official.


Today, November 18th, 2009, banned Belgians Xaiver Malisse and #16 Yanina Wickmayer have both filed appeals with the Court of Arbitration for Sport to overturn their one year bans for failing to report their whereabouts three times to WADA officials and Malisse missed one doping test.


Even so, both players would miss the first three months of the 2010 season if their appeals are accepted and the bans are overturned, decisions take about four months to make.


The court has overturned the bans of players before (Richard Gasquet, Guillermo Canas to name two of the higher profile cases overturned).


Let’s hope that the CAS announces good results for both Malisse and Wickmayer and overturns their bans for not being able to report their whereabouts, because there’s a ruling in the WADA that just doesn’t make sense to me: “Under the World Anti-Doping Agency’s rules, elite athletes must be available for out-of-competition testing for one hour a day, 365 days a year. They must give three months’ notice of where they will be so they can be tested.”


What qualifies you as an “elite athlete”? The WADA is very vague on the definition if there is one, but I would think it would apply to tennis players as top 10 ranked. If this was so, Wickmayer’s ban wouldn’t even qualify seeing as she’s #16, and Malisse is ranked at #95.


Let’s hope justice is served and these players are able to compete again, because three months advance notice on where you’re going to be for an hour out of the day is downright criminal for people who’re doing something they love so much.