KUALA LUMPUR: A new development has taken shape in the investigation on world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei’s doping case.
On Thursday, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said that they were awaiting for another random dope test result of Chong Wei conducted on Aug 15 to shed some light on the presence of the banned substance dexamethasone in the shuttler’s urine.
Chong Wei was tested positive for dexamethasone during a doping test at the World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Aug 30.
Dexamethasone is not a performance-enhancing drug but a type of steroid medication with anti-inflammatory effects that is usually used to aid an athlete’s rehabilitation.
Khairy said a thorough investigation on the shuttler’s recent medical history revealed that dexamethasone was administered into his body on July 17 to treat his injury.
Then, Chong Wei was nursing an inner thigh injury. Despite being the defending champion, he pulled out from the Glasgow Commonwealth Games from July 23-Aug 3 in his bid to recover for the World Championships.
“We are looking at another test right now. The athlete had taken an out-of-competition dope test on Aug 15 in Malaysia and it was conducted by WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) before he left to compete in the World Championships in Copenhagen,” revealed Khairy.
“The test was sent to a laboratory in Barcelona, and it did not show any trace of dexamethasone. This is because dexamethasone is allowed during out-of-competition tests.
“Once administered into an athlete’s body, dexamethasone should metabolize within 10 to two weeks. It should not be in the system for more than a month.
“We are checking the sample again (in Barcelona). If we find traces of dexamethasone, that will confirm for some freak reason the slow metabolism process of the substance in the athlete’s body.
“It will give us some clue on how it can be in his system for so long (from July 17-Aug 30). It will help us to establish a point that will help us in the mitigating process,” said Khairy.
He added that various independent tests were also carried out by the National Sports Institute (NSI).
“The NSI have also conducted tests on the athlete’s supplements and drinks, his bird’s nest consumption and even his hair gel. We want to be as thorough as possible,” said Khairy.