A LONG seven months. That is the duration Malaysian icon Datuk Lee Chong Wei has waited to get back on court.
Every day without fail he prayed for his nightmare to end soon.
Well, it is not only his nightmare . Many Malaysians are having sleepless nights because of his alleged doping offence too.
At long last, we may have seen some light at the end of this agonizingly long tunnel. Together with the famous lawyer Mike Morgan, Chong Wei attended his hearing at Amsterdam on April 11, 2015. The results from the hearing is expected out within two weeks from now.
The result could be a slap in the wrist. It could be a six months suspension which he has already served.
But the result we do not want is a two years ban, which will spell the end of the illustrious career of arguably the best badminton player Malaysia have ever produced.
We can’t do anything but pray for the man. Yes, every single prayer counts at this stage. This is the man who united the nation for the past eight years every time he went into court.
This is our only hope of getting our first Olympic gold next year. This is our Datuk.
For those who have turned their backs against Chong Wei for his offence, just look at the overall picture before you decide against supporting him. His doping offence was for a non-performance enhancing drug called dexamethasone.
And you can get it conveniently in any medical centres, as long as you have a severe sore throat. The drug is to solve the inflammation without making you run faster or stamina last longer.
As for those who believe ‘now-taken-back’ statements by Razif Sidek that Chong Wei have always been prescribed this drug, please think wisely again. Shuttlers are randomly tested at every tournament from the early rounds. And more importantly, every semifinalist at every Grand Prix competition has to take a mandatory drug test after every game.
And yes, the rules are strict as there will be special drug testers following the shuttlers to the washroom and ensure he produced the true ‘specimen’ for the test. As for Chong Wei who has entered almost every semifinals in every competition he entered, how could he be tested negative in all if he has been prescribed this drug all way long.
It was a silly mistake. Be it by Chong Wei himself, the doctor, the dietician or the sports official; it doesn’t matter anymore. He has served his sentence and his contribution to the sport and to our nation should never be questioned
Without him, interest for the sport has fallen to an all time low. Even Lin Dan and Chen Long are hoping he can make his return as soon as possible to make the shuttlecock sports exciting again.
He can be one of those stories you can only find in novel. A shuttler suffered two Olympic heartbreaks, came to an all-time low due to a silly doping offence, beefed up himself physically and mentally during his suspension, fought himself back into top condition and in August 2015, won the first ever Olympic gold for his country.
The script has already been readied for Lee Chong Wei. It will not and shall not be tarnished by a doping offence. Blessing in disguise, it may just be real ‘kick’ in the butt Chong Wei needed for this Olympic quest.
For us the fans, just like how we prayed for him during the 2012 London Olympics final against Lin Dan; lets do it again for Chong Wei. Pray for the best results and we may see him on court as soon as May 10 during the Sudirman Cup.
Datuk Lee Chong Wei, we Malaysians pray for you.
> The views expressed are entirely the writer’s own.