KUALA LUMPUR: Many know this: once the A sample is tested positive, it is 99.9% impossible for the B sample to be negative.
But what they don’t know is that it is still possible. Just ask former international shuttler Sairul Amar Ayob.
In 2006, he was tested positive for Dexamethasone, That is the same banned substance that a current top national athlete is alleged to have been tested positive for.
Sairul, who was then playing for professional badminton club KLRC, tested positive during a random test in the semi-finals of the Dutch Open in 2006. He went on to win the title – his first-ever Open crown.
The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) banned Sairul for two months although the result of his B sample was not out.
He was then the country’s third-ranked men’s singles player after Wong Choong Hann and Lee Chong Wei.
“I can totally understand how this particular athlete feels right now. All I can say is relax, stay calm and keep the hope alive. There is nothing much one can do but wait with hope. It will not be easy though,” said the 34-year-old Sairul.
“Everyone should be given the benefit of the doubt until the result of the B sample is known.”
He was commenting on speculations that world No. 1 Chong Wei had failed a dope test during a major tournament recently.
However, no one has come out to officially name the athlete as they are awaiting the result of the B sample, which will be tested at a lab in Oslo, Norway, at a date yet to be fixed.
Sairul admitted that he felt jittery en route to Belgium to witness the testing of the B sample in 2006. Then, KLRC owner Datuk Seri Andrew Kam had paid for him to fly to Belgium.
“The lab was at a university in Belgium. I was so nervous. The doctor there told me that it was almost 99.9% impossible for the B sample to be negative. They were very surprised when it turned out to be negative,” said Sairul.
“I’m so thankful to Datuk Seri Andrew for believing in me and fighting for me during my tough moments.
“I was given only 0.1% chance ... but it was still a chance. I hope this athlete stays positive.”
Sairul continued playing for the country for three years after the incident before finally hanging up his racquet in 2009.
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