Malaysia's national hero, Lee Chong Wei, has announced that he will retire from the sport of badminton if he receives a suspension of two years for doping.
Last year, Lee tested positive for a banned substance when he was world number one. Chong Wei has now slipped to third in the men’s world badminton rankings. He tested positive for the banned substance Dexamethasone at the World Championships in Copenhagen last August. Lee is not allowed to compete until his case is heard before the Badminton World Federation next month. In an interview with BBC, the 32-year-old badminton star said if he is suspended for two years, then he will not pursue his badminton career afterwards.
The Badminton World Federation had announced Wei was provisionally suspended because of an Adverse Analytical Finding of a sample taken at the BWF World Championships in August in Copenhagen, where he lost to China’s Chen Long in the final. Wei may be suspended for two years and could also lose the silver medal he won at August's World Championships if found guilty of doping.
Lee Chong, Malaysia's most prominent male athlete, has remarked he "cheated" and added there is no way he could have administered Dexamethasone into his body by himself. The silver medalist in both the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games said he had lost big matches before but he always bounced back without fail.
Lee was ranked first worldwide for 199 consecutive weeks from 21 August 2008 to 14 June 2012. He was conferred with a Darjah Setia Pangkuan Negeri (DSPN), which carried the title Dato' by Governor of Penang as a reward for his silver medal effort in the 2008 Olympic Games. Lee won the Malaysia Open and the Chinese Taipei Open in 2004. He won his second Malaysia Open title and the Denmark Open in 2005. Lee was crowned as the winner of the Swiss Open, Asian Badminton Championships, and his third Malaysia Open title in 2006. In 2008, he captured his fourth Malaysia Open title in five years and started the 2009 season with his fifth Malaysia Open title in 2009. In January 2014, Lee lost in the final of Korea Open to Chen Long but won his third All England Open and India Open title. In June 2014, Lee Chong Wei won the Japan Open for the third consecutive year and fifth time overall.
The two-time Olympic silver medalist said it had been a painful process waiting for his appeal to be heard. He added a lot of fans from around the world supported him throughout the ordeal and they believe that he would compete again.
World No. 3 Jan O Jorgensen said the men’s singles event in badminton will be even more competitive once two-time Olympic silver medalist Lee Chong Wei is cleared by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) to compete again. Jorgensen remarked Chen Long is without doubt the most dangerous player in the world and added the young guys, like India’s K. Srikanth and Taiwan’s Chou Tien-chen, are also coming up really fast but remarked he believes Chong Wei will be the one who will be the most dangerous when he returns.