(Reuters) - World number five Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand has been cleared of a doping charge after it was found she ingested contaminated meat, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) said on Thursday.
The 24-year-old former world number one was charged with an anti-doping rule violation in May after her sample returned an adverse analytical finding.
However, Ratchanok proved it was related to the ingestion of meat contaminated with clenbuterol — a steroid-type drug that decreases body fat and increases muscle mass.
“She was found to bear no fault or negligence for the violation, and thus no period of ineligibility has been imposed on her,” the BWF said in a statement.
This is not the first time Ratchanok, a former Asian champion, has been cleared of an anti-doping violation.
In 2016, she was cleared to compete at the Rio Olympics after initially receiving a provisional ban following a positive test for a corticosteroid. Her team stated that it may have been due to an injection she received to treat a knee injury.
The BWF found that “because the route of administration of the substance in the medical treatment process was intra-tendinous – an authorised administration route – no violation of the regulations was committed”.
Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris