Canas begins long road back with victory in Brazil
RIO DE JANEIRO, Sep 17 (Reuters) Guillermo Canas began the long climb back up the ATP rankings after serving a 15-month doping ban with victory in a Challenger Series tournament.
The former world number eight, who forfeited 525 singles rankings points as part of his punishment for failing a drugs test last year, beat fellow Argentine Carlos Berlocq 4-6 6-2 7-6 in the final of the Amazonia Open claycourt event yesterday.
The tournament in Belem, northern Brazil, part of the ATP's lower-tier series, was a far cry from Canas's heyday. The Argentine, now 28, was twice a quarter-finalist at the French Open, in 2002 and 2005.
Canas was originally suspended for two years by the ATP in August 2005 after testing positive for the banned diuretic hydrochlorothiazide (HCT) at a tournament in Acapulco six months earlier.
The ban was reduced to 15 months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) who accepted that Canas had been given the substance in error by tournament staff.
CAS heard that Canas had been prescribed medication by a tournament doctor but was accidentally given another product containing the banned substance.
Canas's ban ended last Monday and he was given a wildcard into the Belem tournament, where he sailed through to the final without dropping a set.
He collected a cheque for 3,600 dollars for winning the tournament.
REUTERS DH PM0905