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Bulgarian Tennis Pro Gains Kazakh Citizenship

ASTANA -- Promising Bulgarian tennis player Sesil Karantcheva has received Kazakh citizenship and will play for Kazakhstan in international tournaments, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

The 19-year-old player showed great promise as a young teen and made the quarterfinals at the French Open before testing positive for steroids and receiving a two-year ban from the World Tennis Association in 2006.

Kazakhstan's Tennis Federation says it will pay Karantcheva $65,000 per year to play for Kazakhstan.

Young Russian tennis players Yaroslava Shvedova and Galina Voskoboyeva also received Kazakh citizenship last year and now represent Kazakhstan in international tennis tournaments.