Badminton world No.1 fails dope test
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia—Badminton’s world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei has failed a doping test, a top Malaysian sports official said Saturday.
Lee, who has been temporarily suspended pending a hearing by the Badminton World Federation’s doping panel, faces a potential two-year ban from competition.
Badminton Association of Malaysia deputy chairman Mohamad Norza Zakaria confirmed Saturday that a test carried out on Nov. 5 in Oslo, Norway, on the B sample had backed up the positive finding of the A sample from a doping control at this year’s World Championships.
Mohamad declined to identify the player, however a senior Malaysian sports official confirmed to The Associated Press that it was 33-year-old Lee. The official did not give his name because he was not authorized to reveal Lee’s identity to the media.
The Kuala Lumpur-based Badminton World Federation would hear an expected challenge to the finding by the BMA and Lee.
Mohamad said the player tested positive for the banned substance dexamethasone, but the association believed he was innocent.
“This player is a very dedicated player and an exceptional individual,” he told a media conference. “We believe this player has never resorted to shortcuts to achieve success.”
Mohamad claimed dexamethasone was not performance enhancing.
Dexamethasone is on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s prohibited list. Substances are out on the list if they meet any two of the following criteria: 1) they have the potential to enhance sport performance 2) represent an actual or potential health risk to the athlete or 3) violate the spirit of sport.
Lee won silver medals at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympics, as well as at the 2011, 2013 and 2014 World Championships.
He has also won four gold medals at the Commonwealth Games, including the men’s singles at Melbourne 2006 and Delhi 2010.