KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have confirmed the ‘B’ sample of one of their national team members returned a positive test for a banned substance but declined to identify the player on Saturday.
Local media reacted with shock to reports in recent weeks that world number one Lee Chong Wei was the player who tested positive for a banned anti-inflammatory drug at the world championships in Copenhagen in August and faced the prospect of a two-year ban.
Lee traveled to Norway to witness the follow up test last week but at Saturday’s eagerly anticipated news conference, BAM exercised their right to withhold the identity of the player involved ahead of a planned appeal.
“The result of the testing confirms the existence of dexamethasone in the (B) sample,” BAM deputy president Norza Zakaria said in a statement.
The case would be heard by the doping hearing panel of the Badminton World Federation (BWF), he said.
“Therefore with this due process taking place, we are still at no liberty to reveal the name of the player,” Zakaria added.
Malaysia’s favorite son Lee is considered a role model as much for his 55 international titles, including two Olympic silver medals, as for his impeccable off-court demeanor.
Zakaria, also the chairman of the BAM anti-doping working committee, said the federation had hired a lawyer and would extend all support to the player.
”...we believe that this player is a very hard working player and an exceptional individual.
“We also believe that this player has never resorted to ‘shortcuts’... to achieve success.”
Writing by Amlan Chakraborty; Editing by John O'Brien