KUALA LUMPUR: The Badminton World Federation (BWF) confirmed that Lee Chong Wei has been banned for eight-months for failing a dope test at the World Championships in Copenhagen last year.
BWF stated that the ban is from Aug 30 last year to the end of this month and that the former world No 1 will be able to resume his career on May 1.
Chong Wei’s silver medal at the World Championships has also been withdrawn. Chong Wei tested positive for the banned substance dexamethasone, a corticosteroid which inhibits inflammation, after his semifinal win over Denmark’s Victor Axelsen in the World Championships in Copenhagen on Aug 30.
His `B’ urine sample also tested positive in November in Oslo. Following is the full statement from BWF Malaysian player, Lee Chong Wei, has received an eight-month sanction for an anti-doping regulation violation.
This sanction, imposed by the BWF Doping Hearing Panel, has resulted from an Adverse Analytical Finding of Leeâ€™s sample taken at the BWF World Championships last 30 August in Denmark.
That sample contained Dexamethasone, a Specified Substance prohibited “in competitionâ€, the source of which was a contaminated casing(s) of a gelatin capsule(s) containing a food supplement that Lee had been taking.
Appearing before the BWF Doping Hearing Panel on 11 April, Lee accepted that Dexamethasone was present in his sample and that he had consequently committed an anti-doping violation under regulation 2.1 of the BWF Anti-Doping Regulations (2009). His argument was that he did so inadvertently and that either no sanction should take place according to Clause 10.5.1, or at least that any sanction should be reduced according to Clause 10.4.
Given arguments and evidence put forward by Leeâ€™s legal team at the hearing in the Netherlands, the panel stated: â€œThe panel is convinced this is not a case of doping with intent to cheat.â€
However, the panel found that Lee had been â€œnegligentâ€, but with the degree of negligence being â€œrather lightâ€ as â€œhe did not realise he had ingested a Specified Substance (Dexamethasone)â€.
That conclusion led to a sanction of eight monthsâ€™ ineligibility. The Doping Hearing Panel has deemed it â€œcorrect and fairâ€ to backdate the period of ineligibility to the date of sample collection, thereby ending his sanction on 30 April, 2015, and making Lee Chong Wei eligible to resume his badminton career on Friday 1 May, 2015.
Leeâ€™s runner-up result in the Menâ€™s Singles competition of last yearâ€™s BWF World Championships has been disqualified but results obtained between 30 August, 2014, and 2 October, 2014 (the date Lee was notified of his positive test), will stand.
Citing Clause 10.4 of the BWF Anti-Doping Regulations (2009) â€“ Elimination or reduction of the period of Ineligibility for Specified Substances under specific circumstances â€“ the three-member panel found the athlete met all conditions for this clause to be applicable.
These being: Lee established how a Specified Substance (Dexamethasone) entered his body. Lee established the Specified Substance (Dexamethasone) was not intended to enhance the sport performance or mask the use of a performance-enhancing substance. And Lee produced corroborating evidence which â€œto the comfortable satisfaction of the panelâ€ supported the absence of any intent on his part.
Noting Dexamethasone is not a performance-enhancing substance, the panel accepted arguments that Leeâ€™s Adverse Analytical Finding was â€œmost likely the result of him consuming gelatin capsules containing cordyseps and that one or more of the gelatin capsulesâ€™ casings were contaminated with Dexamethasoneâ€.
Stressing â€œthe responsibility to act without negligence is the personal obligation of the athleteâ€, the panel raised questions about Leeâ€™s level of â€œanti-doping education/anti-doping securityâ€, highlighting the athlete put himself at risk by â€œaccepting cordyseps for about seven years from a private person without any knowledge or control regarding how the cordyseps have been treated and encapsulatedâ€.
Lee, the former world No.1 in Menâ€™s Singles, had been provisionally suspended since last November and therefore barred temporarily from participating in any competition (Clause 7.6.2), pending the panelâ€™s decision.-NST