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Former world No 1 Simona Halep arrives at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne. Image Credit: AFP file

Miami Gardens, Florida: Simona Halep will return to tennis at the Miami Open this month after winning her appeal of a doping suspension and having the penalty reduced from four years to nine months.

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“Thank you to the tournament for giving me this opportunity and I cannot wait to be back on court and competing,” the two-time Grand Slam champion and former No 1 player posted on Thursday on social media. “See you all soon!”

She was given a wild-card invitation for the main draw at the hard-court tournament on the site of the Miami Dolphins’ stadium. Women’s play begins March 19.

Decision in Halep's favour

Halep, a 32-year-old from Romania, is allowed to resume her tennis career thanks to the decision in her favour announced on Tuesday by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

She tested positive for a banned drug at the 2022 US Open and has not competed on tour since then. Halep argued to the court that her exposure to the substance came via a contaminated supplement.

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Halep is happy to be back on court after getting a wild card at the Miami Open. Image Credit: AP

While a three-judge panel determined that Halep bore “some level of fault or negligence” for not exercising “sufficient care” while using the supplement, it said “she bore no significant fault or negligence.”

The ruling said “her anti-doping rule violations were not intentional.”

Halep won major championships at Wimbledon in 2019, by beating Serena Williams in the final, and at the French Open in 2018, by beating Sloane Stephens in the final.