KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) – Badminton world number one Lee Chong Wei has said he “never cheated” and will fight to clear his name, as he finally broke his silence on positive drugs tests that have shocked the sport.
Reports that the Malaysian star tested positive for the banned anti-inflammatory dexamethasone at the world championships in Copenhagen in August have been circulating for weeks, although officials refused to identify Lee.
But the shuttler wrote on Twitter late Saturday that he hoped to clear his name, posting a link to an interview in which he describes himself as “devastated” by the allegations.
“Thank u for having faith in me. I never cheated nor will I ever rely on banned substances,” the 32-year-old wrote in the Twitter post.
“There are so many unanswered questions, and I hope to clear my name soon.”
In the interview, he tells friend and sports blogger Satwant Singh Dhaliwal: “I saw my entire life flash by me, the whole last 15 years just going up in smoke. I was devastated and just did not know what to do.
“I have never cheated not even made any attempt to cheat thus this was like a bolt of lightning, destroying everything I had worked so hard for.”
Fans have been shocked by the allegations against Lee, a hero in Malaysia who is known for his humility and diligence.
The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) said Saturday the shuttler had been temporarily suspended after a second test on his urine sample — conducted in Norway this week and witnessed by Lee — came back positive, like the first test.
Lee – who is facing a suspension of up to two years, which could mean the end of his career – is now awaiting a hearing by the Badminton World Federation. No date has been set as yet.