Doping issue: Sample B positive, national shuttler suspended

Doping issue: Sample B positive, national shuttler suspended
CHONG WEI: I have played some 100 to 200 matches as world number one. Not once was I tested positive.
KUALA LUMPUR: A top national shuttler has been suspended indefinitely following a positive Sample B result for dexamethasone.

Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) received the letter confirming the test result for the athlete's Sample B by Badminton World Federation (BWF) yesterday.

"We were informed by BWF that this matter will be referred to the BWF Doping Hearing Panel. Therefore, with this due process taking place, we are still at no liberty to reveal the name of the player," BAM's working committee on doping, Datuk Norza Zakaria told a media conference today.

Norza also said the athlete has denied taking the anti-inflammatory drug.

He said the council unanimously agreed to provide support in all aspects for the athlete.

"BAM will work together with Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin on this matter and has hired a London-based lawyer, Mike Morgan from Morgan Sports Law LLP, who specialises in sports law to assist us in this matter," he said.

Describing the shuttler as a "hard working player and an exceptional player", Norza  said the player is currently under a lot of stress.

Although BAM is still keeping mum on the identity of the athlete, media reports before this had identified the shuttler as world number one Datuk Lee Chong Wei.

Lee Chong Wei
The press conference by BAM that was held at its headquarters at Stadium Juara in Bukit Kiara earlier today - Photo Twitter/Khawari Isa

Meanwhile, in an exclusive interview with Astro Arena that was aired on Channel 801 yesterday, he admitted to being extremely stressed out after being tied to the doping controversy.

"I have been in action as the world number one player for 100 to 200 matches, not once was I tested positive. This is the first time that I've been tested positive.

"I'm confident that I have worked very hard to win," he said.

"I want to return to the court. Everyone is worried and believes in me. I hope the minister (of Youth and Sports Khairy Jamaluddin) will help me.

"It has been a month that I've been under extreme pressure. I hope this issue can be solved immediately," said the Penangite who spoke to Astro Arena in Oslo, Norway.

He hoped that the National Sports Institute CEO Datuk Dr Ramlan Abd Aziz would help him to identify where the forbidden substance came from.