Relieved Lee handed backdated doping ban

Mon Apr 27, 2015 4:21am EDT
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By Ebrahim Harris

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysian shuttler Lee Chong Wei was a relieved man on Monday after being handed a backdated eight-month ban for doping by the Badminton World Federation, leaving him free to go for gold at the Rio Olympics next year.

Lee tested positive test for dexamethasone at last year's world championships. Dexamethasone is an anti-inflammatory that does not enhance performance but is on the list of banned substances.

The 32-year-old could have been suspended for up to two years but will be eligible to compete again on Friday after he voluntarily stood down last year when he was first told about the positive sample.

The BWF said Lee had been negligent but the backdated sanction was "correct and fair".

"The panel is convinced this is not a case of doping with intent to cheat," the world governing body said in a statement.

The anti-inflammatory drug, which is prohibited in competition, was found on the casing of gelatin capsules of a food supplement that Lee was taking, the BWF said.

"I am of course relieved," Lee said in a news conference in Kuala Lumpur.

"I accept the result. I will review back, and maybe...will be stronger mentally for the competitions to come."   Continued...

Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei wipes his eye at a promotional event in Kuala Lumpur, April 17, 2015. REUTERS/Olivia Harris