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World of Sport

08th Nov 2014

Shuttleshock: Badminton’s world No 1 Lee Chong Wei fails drug test

Malaysian icon in big trouble...

Sean Nolan

Big news out of Malaysia this morning as one of their biggest icons lands himself in very hot water.

The world of badminton, and Malaysian sport, has been plunged into crisis today as it has been confirmed that world No 1 Lee Chong Wei’s ‘B’ sample has also shown traces of a banned substance, and the star now faces a potential two-year ban.

Back in August an ‘A’ sample taken from Chong Wei at the World Championship returned a positive test and last night it was confirmed that the ‘B’ sample also had traces of a substance called dexamethasone. Chong Wei defeated Irish No 1 Scott Evans in the last 16 of those World Championships.

Dexamethasone is an anti-inflammatory steroid, ususally deployed to speed up recovery from injury. Authorities in Malaysia have stated that they think they can trace the drug back to treatment for a thigh injury adminstered in July of this year.

Malaysian Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has also said that they are looking at another test taken by Chong Lei in August.

“We are looking at another test right now,” said Khairy. “The athlete had taken an out-of-competition dope test on August 15 in Malaysia and it was conducted by Wada (World Anti-Doping Agency) before he left to compete in the World Championships in Copenhagen.”

The country’s National Sports Institute (NSI) has also been carrying out tests on the athlete, looking into what supplements he took, his hair gel and even his bird’s nest consumption according to reports in the Malaysian press.

Chong Lei is expected to appeal and he has requested a hearing into the failed test but a two-year ban hangs over him now. An Olympic silver medallist in 2008 and 2012, the 32-year old was world No 1 for 199 weeks between August 2008 and June 2012 and he is back at the top of the rankings now.