It is confirmed. World no. 1 Lee Chong Wei‘s B sample has tested positive for banned substance dexamethasone. Dexamethasone, an anti-inflammatory drug, is a substance commonly used to aid an athlete’s rehabilitation process.
The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) will make an official announcement in a press conference at 2pm at BAM headquarters in Bukit Kiara on Saturday, 8th Nov. The press conference will be chaired by BAM’s working committee on doping, Datuk Norza Zakaria.
Chong Wei, who went through a random dope test during the World Championships in Copenhagen on 30th Aug, witnessed the seal of his B sample being opened at Oslo on 5th Nov. He faces a 2-year ban but he will get a chance for a hearing with the Badminton World federation (BWF), in a date to be announced soon.
According to The Star, Chong Wei has been temporarily suspended from taking part in tournaments until the Badminton World Federation (BWF) hears his doping case.
Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) held a press conference to break the news but its chairman of anti-doping working committee, Datuk Norza Zakaria, did not name the athlete. He did, however, assure that he would do his best to defend the athlete.
I wish to inform that today (yesterday), we have received the letter dated Nov 7 from BWF informing the results of the testing for sample B. The result confirms the existence of dexamethasone. The substance is not a performance-enhancing drug. We also have been informed by BWF that this matter will be referred to the BWF doping hearing panel now and due process will take place. The panel will provide the time, date and location of the hearing. While waiting for the due process to happen, the player is under temporary suspension.
We are bound by BWF regulations, paragraph 14.4 on public disclosure. We plead to all to be patient and allow the due process to take place. BAM are working together with the Youth and Sports Minister on this and have hired a London-based lawyer Mike Morgan from Morgan Sports Law LLP, who specialises in sports law, to assist us on this matter.
The player has denied taking the drug and that is why we are going through all these processes to try and establish his innocence and defend him. He is an exceptional player. He has done a lot for the country and BAM. He deserves the best treatment. We have done our own investigation and we believe that he is innocent and based on this conclusion, we are providing assistance. We are hoping for a positive outcome.
Chong Wei faces a 2-year ban but if he can prove his innocence, the panel could reduce his sentence. He could be let off with just a warning or he could face a 3-to-6-month ban.
The 32-year-old Chong Wei has not been entered for the last 2 Superseries – the China and Hong Kong Opens – this month.