KUALA LUMPUR: The Youth and Sports Ministry (KBS) will continue to work with the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) to ensure national badminton ace Datuk Lee Chong Wei receives the minimum punishment after failing a doping test, said its minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
He said the ministry would also do its best to assist Chong Wei to avoid a long lay off which would affect his world number one ranking, which the ace has been holding the last few years.
Khairy, who had met up with Chong Wei earlier today, said he hoped the national icon would weather this “black episode” in his life.
“I came to know about this since Aug 2 (when Chong Wei was alleged to have failed the doping test on his Sample A) and I coordinated all investigations together with the National Sports Institute (ISN) and BAM, including meeting him.
“So, we will continue to work with BAM in investigating this case until the Badminton World Federation’s hearing into it,” he told reporters after opening Dewina Super Froyo Sdn Bhd’s third TCBY yogurt ice-cream outlet here.
Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) deputy president Datuk Norza Zakaria had told a media conference here earlier today that Chong Wei was confirmed as testing positive for the banned substance, ‘dexamethasone’ in his ‘Sample B’ test conducted at the Oslo University Hospital in Norway on Wednesday.
He said he received the official result from the Badminton World Federation (BWF) yesterday.
Norza said the case would be referred to the BWF doping hearing panel and the decision on punishment would be known in two weeks.
Chong Wei will likey face a two-year suspension by the World Anti-Doping Agency if he fails in his appeal to BWF.
Elaborating further, Khairy said BAM had hired lawyer Mike Morgan of England, who is skilled in sports law, to help in the issue.
BWF, however, has not decided on a date and place to hear Chong Wei’s side of the story.
Meanwhile, Khairy said he hoped no one would point fingers at ISN, which was supposed to have a medical specialist overseeing medication taken by Chong Wei.
“It will be difficult if each athlete has to be watched over by a medical specialist. In this case, ChonG Wei was referred to a private specialist clinic, and this was not the first time he received treatment there.
“The clinic is on the panel of ISN, so it is too early to make conclusions on the role of the ISN in this case,” he explained.
Local media, prior to this, reported that Chong Wei was linked to a doping scandal after ‘dexamethasone’ was found in his urine during a random test at the World Championship in Copenhagen, Denmark in August.
‘Dexamethasone’ is a steroid medicine with anti-inflammation effect for treating various health problems, including rheumatology. -BERNAMA