December 16 - US Open semi-finalist Yanina Wickmayer (pictured) earned a major off-court victory today when officials lifted her one-year ban for allegedly violating the controversial whereabouts rule.

The 20-year-old Belgian was banned last month for breaking World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) regulations by failing to report her whereabouts for drug testing three times.

Another Belgian, 2002 Wimbledon semi-finalist Xavier Malisse, was banned at the same time and also had his suspension lifted Wednesday.

"The ITF has removed both Mr. Malisse and Ms. Wickmayer from the list of suspended players, and both are eligible to participate with immediate effect," the International Tennis Federation (ITF) said in a statement.

Neither player failed a doping test, and Wickmayer claims she was not properly informed of the on-line reporting requirements for drug-testing that led to her ban.

On Monday, the pair won an injunction in Belgium against the bans, which were imposed by a Belgian court on November 5.

Because the injunction suspended the decision of the Belgian national anti-doping agency, the ITF said it was forced to lift the ban.

"As a signatory to the WADA Code, the ITF is required to give wider recognition to decisions within the authority of other signatories," the ITF said.

After Monday's court ruling in Belgium , Wickmayer was offered a wildcard to play at the ASB Classic, a tournament in New Zealand that serves as a warm-up for the Australian Open.

She is also hoping to get another wildcard for the season's first Grand Slam tournament in Melbourne .

WADA's "whereabouts" rule requires elite athletes to make themselves 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.

Many athletes have spoken out against the system since it was imposed at the beginning of the year, saying it violates their right to privacy, and 65 athletes in Belgium started court proceedings against the whereabouts system, citing the European Convention on Human Rights.

WADA director general David Howman has said the rule will be reviewed at the end of the year.

Related stories
May 2009:
 WADA confirm hardline approach on whereabouts rule
April 2009: EU wants WADA to look at whereabouts rule again
March 2009: Radcliffe leads defence of whereabouts system
February 2009: WADA refusing to change whereabouts rule
February 2009: UK Sport defends drug-testing system against Murray criticism