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Cilic free to play again after doping ban is cut

(Reuters) - Former world number nine Marin Cilic is free to play on the tennis circuit again after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) cut his ban for doping by more than half on Friday.

"The player's ban will...end at midnight on 25 October 2013," the CAS said on its website (www.tas-cas.org).

The Croatian was originally banned for nine months by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) in September for taking the banned stimulant nikethamide.

The 25-year-old, who said he had inadvertently taken the substance in glucose tablets, appealed to the CAS who ruled on Friday that the punishment had been too severe.

"The panel...concluded that it should be reduced to four months, commencing on 23 September 2013, less the period of provisional suspension already served by the player from 26 June 2013 to 23 September 2013," the CAS said.

Cilic, who spent 11 weeks in the world's top 10 in 2010, tested positive for the substance at the BMW Open in Munich in April. He has dropped to 47th in the rankings.

(Writing by Clare Fallon in London; Editing by John Mehaffey)

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