Former women world number one shuttler Zhou Mi of Hong Kong has been suspended for two years for failing a drug test, World badminton Federation said on Saturday.
During one of BWF's out-of-competition testing programme, Zhou tested positive for Clenbuterol, a Class 1 Anabolic Agent on the WADA Prohibited List of substances, BWF said in a release.
After that a BWF doping hearing conducted in Copenhagen on August 23 decided "that a period of two years ineligibility is imposed upon Zhou Mi for the first violation of the BWF Anti-doping Regulations.
The period of ineligibility commences from the date of the provisional suspension, 4 August 2010."
"BWF is fortunate that this is the first case that the BWF has ruled on for a number of years. The case sends a strong message to elite athletes in the sport who need to be aware of Prohibited Substances and the consequences of taking these either deliberately or inadvertently," said Thomas Lund, BWF COO.
Zhou Mi acknowledged that she had taken some common over-the-counter medication but was unaware whether or not it had contained any prohibited substance.
"The BWF together with WADA conduct both out-of competition and in-competition testing on a regular basis and athletes need to be aware that they are ultimately responsible for everything they ingest whether it is taken deliberately or inadvertently," Lund added.
"And this case shows that for a first offence, the punishment is severe." The sanction means that Zhou Mi cannot participate in any badminton tournament at the international, national and local level for a period of two years.