South Korea’s Lee Yong-dae has failed a doping test and received a sanction of one year for violating the requirements relating to filing whereabouts information and resulting missed tests under the BWF Anti-Doping Regulations, according to the Badminton World Federation (BWF). The former Olympic badminton champion was also disqualified from the upcoming Asian Games in South Korea.
The 25-year-old Lee, who won the gold medal in the mixed doubles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and Korean badminton player Kim Ki-jung received sanctions after they accumulated three whereabouts failures in connection with this administrative process in 2013.
The Badminton World Federation said it didn't impose the maximum two-year ban because of the failure of the Korea Association to make diligent efforts to keep the BWF informed about the players' whereabouts. It was revealed by BWF that both badminton players attended a hearing on January 13. The Badminton World Federation also disclosed that the Doping Hearing Panel has recommended a fine on the South Korean governing body, with additional sanctions on the horizon.
One of the most popular athletes in South Korea, Lee won bronze medal in the men's doubles at the London Olympics in 2012. He will be banned until January 23, 2015, according to the Badminton World Federation. In 2013, Kim Ki-jung won a World Championship bronze medal along with men's doubles partner Kim Sa-rang. In a statement, the federation said the period of ineligibility for Lee and Kim is from 23 January 2014 to midnight on 23 January 2015, during which time the players cannot participate in any capacity in a competition. The players would miss the Asian Games in Incheon later this year. Both players now can exercise their right to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport by midnight on February 17, 2014, Kuala Lumpur time. The suspension took effect on January 23, 2014.
Kim Jung-soo, an executive director of the South Korean badminton body, said Lee and Kim failed to offer information about their whereabouts in March, September, and November. Jung-soo added this is the first suspension resulting from a failure to inform the international badminton agency of the locations of athletes. He added the two athletes weren't present as they were competing in domestic and international events when anti-doping officials visited the National Training Center in Seoul in March and November last year.
Jung-soo insisted that the athletes have not failed doping tests but violated administrative procedures and added they have never refused any test or tried to avoid being tested and they have passed all of the doping tests at multiple international competitions. He added it is hard to understand that the players are punished just because they were not present when the inspectors came to check their whereabouts without prior notice. The executive director of Korean badminton added the association would aggressively appeal the case to seek a reduction in the bans to 3-6 months from one year so that both the players could compete in the 19th September to 4th October Asian Games on home soil.