Malaysian officials have said that an unnamed national badminton player, which is widely speculated to be world renowned player Lee Chong Wei, has failed a drugs test and tested positive for the banned substance dexamethasone.
Since then, Lee has been in a PR storm over the alleged failed drug test, and has been defending his reputation to the media, denying that he has ever cheated and vowing to clear his name.
Lee (pictured) was signed on to be the brand ambassador for isotonic beverage brand 100PLUS since 2008 is currently still the face of the brand. According to the Badminton Association Malaysia’s website, the sponsorship inked between Lee and the brand was cited to be one of the biggest single sponsorship deals for a badminton player from a corporate sector.
The brand has expressed its support to Lee. In a statement to Advertising + Marketing, a spokesperson from 100PLUS said:
“We thank all our 100PLUS fans for your email and concerns with regards to Datuk Lee Chong Wei. Datuk Lee has been the 100PLUS Brand Ambassador since 2008 and has been a true professional in every sense of the word. We at 100PLUS would like to express our continued support and commitment to Datuk Lee. We wish him the best through these difficult times and hope this matter will be resolved soon.”
Lee has also taken to Twitter to plead his innocence and garnered much support from the public.
In his interview with Malaysian Sports Blogger Satwant Singh Dhaliwalon, he said:" I was informed that the drug was last injected into me on July 18 and how the traces were still there in August is something I cannot explain. Suffice to say I never took any drugs beyond those prescribed to me and I deny any suggestions that I resort to traditional herbs that contain banned substance."
The player who has been temporarily suspended is currently pending a hearing from the Badminton World Federation (BWF) doping panel. If found guilty, he could also face a potential two-year ban from competing.