Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian badminton star Lee Chong Wei will make his case to a three-man panel on Apr 11 after being suspended for doping in 2014. Lee tested positive for Dexamethasone after a sample of his urine was taken on Aug 30 last year during the World Championships in Copenhagen.
The Badminton Association of Malaysia said its lawyers Mike Morgan Sports had been “working around the clock” for the hearing in Amsterdam. Lee could face a three-month to two-year suspension depending on how the appeal goes.
“We appeal to every Malaysian and Datuk Lee’s fans all over the world to continue to be patient and continue to give the moral support needed by Datuk Lee,” said BAM deputy president Mohamad Norza Zakaria. “Your support thus far has been a pillar of strength for Datuk Lee,” he added.
Lee said that while he has enjoyed time at home with his family during his suspension, he is relieved that an appeals date has finally been set. “The first one month, I think, was very tough for me because I couldn’t accept that I failed a doping test, because I’ve played for so many years – 15 years in a national team – and I’ve never failed a doping test. But this time I did because I was undergoing treatment before I went to the World Championships,” he said.
The men’s singles champ said he has been inundated with well-wishes by fans who want to see him back on the court. “I hope on April 11th there’ll be a good result and I can return to the court as fast as possible,” he said.
“I hope I can overcome this, because it’s been 5 months I haven’t played in tournaments. I think, physically, so far I’ve no problem. But I think mentally, sometimes people can’t straight away get back (in the zone),” said Lee.
Lee is hopeful the suspension will be lifted in time for him to qualify for the Olympics – a sentiment shared by BAM’s national singles coach Rashid Sidek. “We can only wait for the decision,” he said. “What’s important is that it’s a positive decision so he can continue his career and play in the next Olympics.”
Lee said he will be going to Amsterdam for the hearing with his lawyer. His wife, however, will not be joining him as Lee reveals she is five months’ pregnant with their second child.
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