Russian teenager banned from tennis for nine months following anti-doping breach will not play because of his ban, despite having played only one match this season
Denmark was stripped of the entire Davis Cup after it found Russia guilty of manipulating its anti-doping system
Tennis star Denis Istomin, who was banned for nine months by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in September for failing a drug test, will not play in the opening tournament of the season because he was not given the chance to show his hand.
Istomin was fined for doping in September and has now been banned from practising for the first time since he was a child because of his failed drug test at the Australian Open in May.
The 26-year-old has to sit out a full calendar year, as is normal for a player found guilty after a positive doping test, or if he has served his ban.
In the absence of Istomin, who last reached a WTA singles final – the only major tournament where he has appeared – Danish players are playing their first doubles round in singles competition since 1992.
The news provoked an angry response from the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), who accused the WADA of hypocrisy by punishing Istomin while allowing three of the country’s top players, including world number three Elena Vesnina, to continue.
Vesnina was also handed a ban by WADA, although for a lesser offence in December and did not suffer any points deduction from the Australian Open.
WADA was initially forced to find Istomin guilty of not being able to show his hand during the August 31 hearing in the first round of the Australian Open, before the decision was changed to all but strip him of the entire Davis Cup.
The decision, made by a three-man panel of WADA investigators and two neutral experts, was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Thursday and the ban will now start in mid-December.
Istomin, who had appeared in just 13 of the 50 singles and 14 of the 54 doubles matches so far this season, will not be allowed to play in singles competition at all until the