Lee Chong Wei, Malaysia’s badminton world number one, is expected to travel to Norway on Sunday for follow-up testing. Wei was reported to have failed an initial doping test, according to media reports.
Lee -- the country's top sporting star -- was found to have traces of Dexamethasone, a banned anti-inflammatory drug in his system during the world championships in Denmark in late August, as per media reports. It was confirmed by Malaysian sports officials that one of the top shuttlers of the country had failed a doping test but they declined to identify the athlete pending the test next week on a second urine sample. It has been reported by the state-linked New Straits Times that Lee has already made plans with a top Malaysian sports official to visit Norway for tests at an Oslo laboratory on a second sample provided during the tournament. It was claimed by the Star newspaper quoting Norza Zakaria, deputy president of the Badminton Association of Malaysia that the test was set for November 5.
Badminton Association of Malaysia deputy president Norza Zakaria said one of our athletes in one major tournament has been found positive. Zakaria added we are very shocked, sad, and it is earth-shattering news to us and we are hoping, keeping our fingers crossed that things will come to a positive conclusion at the end of the day. Malaysia's Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin also confirmed that an athlete had tested positive for a banned substance but he refused to name the athlete. In a statement, Khairy added we had informed the athlete concerned who was shocked by the news. Khairy also remarked athletes cannot blame the coaches or medical specialists but themselves and went on to remark that we take this matter seriously and we have zero tolerance for athletes involved in doping.
On October 1, Malaysian authorities were informed of the failed test and they are presently investigating the case, including whether the drug was taken inadvertently as part of medical treatment. The 32-year-old Lee has been struggling with a thigh injury for which the shuttler received stem cell injections in July. Lee has failed to win a world championship or Olympic gold medal though he has dominated the world rankings for years. Lee Chong Wei lost the final in Denmark to China's Chen Long and he was beaten in the Asian Games in South Korea in the semifinals by his longtime arch-rival Lin Dan of China.
This is the second doping allegation involving Malaysian athletes. Earlier this month, Asian Games champion Tai Cheau Xuen failed an anti-doping test and she was stripped of her gold medal. The organizers of Asian Games expelled the wushu gold medal-winner. The 24-year-old Tai was tested after she won the Chinese martial arts’ women's nanquan and nandao all-round event on September 20 to bag the first gold medal of Malaysia of the Games. In a statement, the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) disclosed that Tai was found to have taken the stimulant Sibutramine.
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