China's Peng Shuai has been banned for six months by the TIU ©Getty Images

Former doubles world number one Peng Shuai has been given a suspended six-month ban after she was found to have used "coercion and offered the possibility of financial reward" in return for her partner withdrawing from last year's Wimbledon Championships.

The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) announced the former Wimbledon champion had tried to change her partner after the tournament deadline.

The TIU added that she had offered potential cash in return for the withdrawal of her original team-mate.

The offer from the Chinese player, who has a current world ranking of 20 in doubles and 80 in singles, was refused and she ultimately did not enter last year's doubles event at the All-England Lawn Tennis Club.

But the TIU said her actions were still a breach of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme, which states that "no covered person shall, directly or indirectly, contrive or attempt to contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any event".

Peng was also fined $10,000 (£7,800/€8,600), with $5,000 (£3,900/€4,300) suspended.

The decision from the TIU effectively spells the end of Peng's season as she will not be able to return to competitive action until November 8.

Most of the main tournaments on the Women's Tennis Association Tour will have finished by the time her suspended ban ends.

The decision from the Tennis Integrity Unit effectively ends Peng Shuai's season ©Getty Images
The decision from the Tennis Integrity Unit effectively ends Peng Shuai's season ©Getty Images

Peng's former French coach Bertrand Perret has also been suspended for three months.

The decisions were made following a hearing in London last month, chaired by independent anti-corruption hearing officer Richard McLaren.

Further details on the case have not been revealed.

"Peng Shuai was found to have used coercion and offered the possibility of financial reward in return for her main draw partner agreeing to withdraw from the ladies doubles event at Wimbledon 2017," a TIU statement read.

"Although the offer was refused and Peng Shuai did not subsequently compete at The Championships, it constituted a breach of Section D.1.d of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme."

Peng has won two Grand Slam doubles titles - at Wimbledon in 2013 and at the French Open the following year - with former partner Hsieh Su-wei.

The 32-year-old was ranked as the world number one doubles player in February 2014.