KUALA LUMPUR, April 27 — The Badminton World Federation (BWF) confirmed today its decision to suspend badminton ace Datuk Lee Chong Wei from active competition for eight months, but said although the national player did violate an anti-doping regulation, he had not done so with intent to cheat.
In a statement on its website, the authority found that Lee had indeed been "negligent" when he took the banned substance Dexamethasone, but the degree of negligence was "rather light" as he had not known at the time that he had ingested the substance.
According to BWF, the panel hearing Lee's case said that it is "convinced this is not a case of doping with intent to cheat".
"That conclusion led to a sanction of eight months’ ineligibility," BWF added in its statement.
The panel also found it "correct and fair" to backdate the eight month suspension order to the date that Lee's sample was collected last year.
This means the sanction ends on April 30 this year and Lee will be eligible to resume his badminton career on May 1.
Lee's runner-up result in the Men's Singles competition for last year's BWF World Championships has been disqualified, the authority said, but added that the results obtained between August 30, 2014, and October 2, 2014, will stand.
Lee had tested positive for dexamethasone after 2014 World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark, where a random urine sampling first showed traces of the banned anti-inflammatory drug.
The use of dexamethasone is not permitted during competition.
The shuttler had reportedly suffered a thigh injury for which he had undergone stem cell treatment in July at a private hospital.
He was provisionally suspended by the Badminton World Federation and faced a disciplinary panel that heard his case in Amsterdam earlier this month.
Lee could have been banned for up to two years for the offence, and previously said he would retire if he is suspended.
He lost in the finals to China's Chen Long in the Denmark tournament in late August and in the Asian Games in South Korea in September, he lost in the semi-finals to China's Lin Dan.