KUALA LUMPUR: After serving a backdated eight-month suspension for a doping violation, former world number one shuttler Datuk Lee Chong Wei has been relegated to 45th placing in the Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings.
He is now behind Chong Wei Feng who has been ranked 31st with 35,199 points while independent shuttler Zulfadli Zulkiffli ranked 41st with 28,910 points.
According to the rankings released today in BWF’s official website, www.bwfbadminton.org, the ace shuttler now has 27,631 points, all collected before testing positive for dexamethasone at the World Championship in Copenhagen in August 2014.
The points come from the Indonesian Open, Japan Open, and Thomas Cup, all before the two-time Olympic silver medallist was suspended by BWF backdating to Aug 30, 2014. The suspension ends today (April 30).
With the suspension ending effective midnight today, Chong Wei is set to make his appearance at the Sudirman Cup in Dongguan, China from May 10-17 before appearing at the SEA Games in Singapore in June. Both meets will serve as his platform to get back his rhythm.
The rankings announced today puts the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) in a fix in selecting the squad for the 2015 Indonesian World Championship from Aug 10-16.
“BAM can only choose two players from the men’s singles. I cannot announce them now. But if Chong Wei is chosen, it will be the best choice,” said BAM technical director Morten Frost Hansen when contacted by Bernama.
Previously, Frost had noted that Chong Wei would have to compete in all Super Series tournaments to regain his status as World No 1.
Chong Wei’s nemesis Lin Dan of China is placed second in the world ranking with 75,050 points, behind his compatriot Chen Long who holds 91,061 points.
According to the report of the hearing panel on the case, Chong Wei did not deliberately take the banned substance but it was feared to have come from a traditional supplement which he has been taking from the age of 13.