Lee Chong Wei To Lose Top Badminton Ranking

Malaysia’s ace badminton player Lee Chong Wei, who was temporarily suspended from competition by the Badminton World Federation (BWF), will lose his top badminton ranking.

The 32-year-old Lee has held the number one ranking for the last six years with the exception of a few weeks when Chinese Olympic champion Lin Dan became the top-ranked player in 2012. Lee, as a singles player, was ranked first worldwide for 199 consecutive weeks from 21 August 2008 to 14 June 2012.

Lee is the only Malaysian shuttler to hold the number one ranking for more than a year. The most successful Malaysian Olympian in history was once described by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak as a national hero. Lee was appointed as UNICEF Malaysia’s National Ambassador in February 2009.

Last month, Lee was suspended by BWF after he tested positive for Dexamethasone, the illegal anti-inflammatory drug, at the World Championships in August. Lee has expressed confidence that he can clear his name after a hearing is conducted by the BWF into the case next year. If Lee fails with his appeal, he could be stripped of the silver medal he won at the world championships in Copenhagen in August.

According to the anti-doping regulations, the drug is illegal for use during competitions but can be used by athletes out of competition for injury rehabilitation. Lee remarked Dexamethasone was injected into him for a thigh injury treatment and the last Dexamethasone injection was administered to him in July. Lee expressed surprise how the drug was in his body after a long time and added that he used the drug after consultations with the National Sports Institute.

Lee remarked there is no way he could have administered Dexamethasone into his body by himself and added he had lost big matches before but he always bounced back without fail. After his positive test, Lee thanked fans for their support and denied using drugs to gain an advantage.

Lee could face an eventual suspension of up to two years. He however expressed concerns that he may never realize his dreams to win the World and Olympic titles if the BWF decides to suspend him for a long time. The 32-year-old veteran won silver medals at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympics, as well as at the 2011, 2013 and 2014 World Championships. He has failed to win the World and Olympic titles despite reaching world and Olympic finals for a couple of times. Lee was defeated by China’s rising star Chen Long in straight sets in the final during the World Championships in late August.

Chinese world champion Chen Long will take the top spot after his World SuperSeries Finals triumph in Dubai. Chen, who is presently ranked second, collected valuable points when he won the Denmark Open in October and the SuperSeries Finals on Sunday, when he defeated Dane Hans-Kristian Vittinghus.

Long becomes the second Chinese to top the men’s singles rankings after Lin Dan. Lee ranked second and Jan Jorgensen of Denmark third while Indian K Srikanth climbed two spots to number four.

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