Monday, November 10, 2014

Lee Chong Wei’s Coming Suspension

When former world no 1 Lee Chong Wei’s tested for positive for drugs, I thought it was a normal case of a top athlete using drugs for an edge. Badminton might not have a history of athletes using enhancing performance drugs, but it’s hardly a shocking development.

This is however big news in Malaysia where Lee is a national hero. Now there denying that drugs were found in Lee Chong Wei’s urine sample on Aug 30 when he was tested during the World Championship semifinal, but reports coming out say that the drugs found in Lee were not performance-enhancing.

The problem seemingly came about during July 17 when Lee underwent surgery and a banned substance, dexamethasone, was injected into the world No. 1 was part of the surgical procedure. Although I’m not convinced that this is true, I am convinced that it does not happen. Drugs were found in Lee Chong Wei’s urine sample and to the authorities, that’s the end of the matter. He will get banned. 

In many ways, Lee’s case remind me of the case of Alberto Contador. In September 2010, Contador tested positive for a banned substance, clenbuterol, but in an amount 400 times less than what would be required for it to effect his performance. Contador blamed the incident on meat he ate as clenbuterol is a drug commonly used to “fatten” the animals. Almost everyone agreed that this was possible, even likely, but Contador was still suspended.

I doubt Lee’s case will be any different. Even if this was a simple mistake, it does not matter. Lee will still get suspended. In many ways, I almost wish the reports coming out of Malaysia are wrong and this was NOT a simple mistake.

If Lee is going to get suspended, I rather he got it for something he actually did. 

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