Dr Ramlan on standby for Chong Wei's hearing

KUALA LUMPUR: National Sports Institute (NSI) chief operating officer Datuk Dr Ramlan Aziz will be on standby for the hearing of shuttler Lee Chong Wei’s doping case.

Chong Wei will be facing a three-member independent panel of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) in Amsterdam on Saturday to clear his name over a doping issue.

The former world No. 1 had failed a dope test during the World Championships in Copenhagen last August. His urine was found with traces of the banned substance dexamethasone.

Dr Ramlan, who will give his testimony via Skype if required, said that he had been asked by Chong Wei’s lawyer – Mike Morgan – to be on standby.

“I didn’t accompany Chong Wei to Amsterdam. Mike has advised me to stay back. The panelists, though, may have some questions for me,” said Dr Ramlan, who added Morgan had also interviewed a few other experts from NSI, including the masseurs, physiotherapist and nutritionist who had worked closely with Chong Wei prior to the World Championships.

“Mike has done a thorough job. It’s important for him to have an understanding of the chronology of events so as to present a thorough report.”

Asked what kind of questions he expects to be bombarded with, Dr Ramlan said: “It all depends on the panelists. Whatever the questions, I’m ready to answer them as accurately as possible.

“The Skype interview, however, may not take place if they are happy with the reports given to them during the hearing.”

The main question will surely be how Chong Wei was found with the banned substance dexamethasone in his body.

Was Chong Wei aware of it? Did he have any knowledge as to how it was administered into his body? Did he take it with the intention of getting an advantage during competition?

Due a thigh injury prior to the World Championships, the NSI had referred Chong Wei to the Kuala Lumpur Sports Medicine Centre, which is under Dr Saw Khay Yong.

On July 17, dexamethasone was administered into his body to help aid his recovery from the injury.

The substance should not have stayed in his body for more than two weeks. Unfortunately, it was still found in his body on Aug 30 - thus raising many questions, including whether it was used again through different means?

All these will be answered at the hearing.

Besides Dr Ramlan, Morgan may also get a foreign expert in dexamethasone to emphasise that the substance is not a performance-enhancing drug.

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Ramlan Aziz , Lee Chong Wei


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