June 22, 2015 / 3:25 AM / 2 years ago

Lee Chong Wei wins first title since doping ban

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

(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

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