World number one Lee Chong Wei has failed a second doping test, and now faces a possible two-year ban from the sport.
The Malaysian underwent tests in Norway last week after testing positive for a banned substance following the World Championships earlier this year.
Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) deputy chairman, Mohamad Norza Zakaria, confirmed a player who underwent tests in Oslo on 5 November had failed them, however, he refused to confirm the player was Chong Wei. An unnamed official within the organisation confirmed it was the 33-year-old shuttler to the Associated Press.
Chong Wei underwent a medical procedure a few months before his 'A' sample tested positive for the banned substance dexamethasone. It has been indicated that his positive test might be a result of this procedure.
At a press conference on the weekend, Zakaria came out in support of the Olympic silver medal winner. He said: "This player is a very dedicated player and an exceptional individual. We believe this player has never resorted to shortcuts to achieve success."
Malaysia's Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has said that Chong Wei's case cannot be compared to those of other famous dopers, Lance Armstrong and Ben Johnson. He made it clear that the substance Chong Wei tested positive for is not a performance enhancing drug; but an anti-inflammatory that aids rehabilitation from injuries.
Jamaluddin explained, "Dexamethasone is allowed for out-of-competition athletes seeking treatment for injuries. Traces remain in the body for 10 days but in this case, we are not sure why it lasted longer than that."