SEOUL: South Korea’s Olympic badminton gold medallist Lee Yong-dae (pictured), has been hit with a one-year ban for missing doping tests, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) said yesterday.
The 25-year-old won mixed doubles gold at the 2008 Games in Beijing and a bronze medal in the men’s doubles in London four years later. Another Korean player, Kim Ki-jung, was also banned for one year.
The ban was effective until Jan. 23, 2015, the federation said in a statement, meaning the players would miss the Asian Games in Incheon later this year. “Korean badminton players Kim Ki-jung and Lee Yong-dae have each received a one-year sanction for violating the requirements relating to filing whereabouts information and resulting missed tests under the BWF Anti-Doping Regulations,” the BWF said.
“Kim and Lee were required to provide whereabouts information for the BWF to conduct out-of-competition testing. In 2013, both athletes accumulated three whereabouts failures in connection with this administrative process.”
The BWF said it chose not to dish out the maximum two-year ban “due to the Badminton Korea Association’s failure ... to make diligent efforts to keep the BWF informed about the players’ whereabouts.”
A doping hearing panel recommended that the Korean association should be fined and the BWF said it would determine whether additional sanctions were appropriate.
Both players had the right to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the statement said.
Kim Jung-soo, executive director of Korean badminton, told a news conference later on Tuesday that the two players would never intentionally miss doping tests.
“When the WADA inspectors visited the Taeneung National Training Centre in March and November last year, Lee and Kim were not there as they were participating in local and international competitions,” Kim said.
“We failed to submit a whereabouts report online last September as well.Reuters