Lee Chong Wei wins first title since doping ban

Sun Jun 21, 2015 11:22pm EDT
 
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(Reuters) - Former world number one Lee Chong Wei won the U.S. Open on Sunday to claim his first title since returning from an eight-month doping ban.

The 32-year-old Malaysian, twice an Olympic silver medalist and world championship runner-up, beat Hans-Kristian Vittinghus of Denmark 22-20 21-12 in Brentwood, New York.

"I'm happy with my performance in the US Open even though this is my (first) individual tournament after nine months. Thank you fans and supporters, I love you all," Lee posted on his Facebook page.

The Perak-born shuttler only returned to the court last month after he tested positive for dexamethasone at the world championships in August.

Facing a career-ending two-year ban, Lee argued that he gained no benefit from a supplement he had taken inadvertently, convincing the BWF to reduce his back-dated suspension to eight months.

His inactivity has led to his world ranking tumbling to 180th, but his first title since winning the Japan Open a year ago will give him hope of making an impression at the world championships in August in Indonesia.

(Writing by Patrick Johnston in Singapore, editing by Nick Mulvenney)

 
Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei  in Bangkok November 21, 2014. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha/Files