KUALA LUMPUR: The big relief on his face says it all.
World No. 3 Lee Chong Wei was delighted to learn that the Badminton World Federation (BWF) have set April 11 to hear his doping case.
The three-member panel will hear his case in Amsterdam, it was announced by BAM on Tuesday.
The date, ironically falls on the eve of his two-year-old son Kingston’s birthday.
“Finally, the hearing date has been fixed. I’d love to take Mew Choo and my son along to Amsterdam but my wife is five months’ pregnant with our second child,” said Chong Wei.
“I hope to come back home with good news,” he added before starting his afternoon session training at Stadium Juara in Bukit Kiara.
The two-time Olympic Games silver medallists is serving a suspension for failing a dope test during a semi-final match in the World Championships in Copenhagen last August.
He was found with traces of banned substance dexamethasone in his urine.
Mew Choo accompanied Chong Wei to Oslo, Norway, to witness the B sample being opened on Nov 5, last year.
Chong Wei could face a maximum two-year ban or a reduced suspension of between three and six months. If he can prove his innocence, he could even escape with just a slap on the wrist.
Chong Wei, who will be accompanied by London-based lawyer Mike Morgan and Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) general manager Kenny Goh, is hoping that his agonising wait will end with more good news on April 11.
“The last five months have been difficult (since he was informed of his doping offence by BWF on Oct 1). I’ve been down with injuries in my career before but I’m still struggling to come to terms with the fact that I’ve failed a dope test,” said Chong Wei.
“The wait has been a mental anguish. It was supposed to be in December (on Dec 8) but was moved. Since then, it has just been a case of waiting and waiting.
“Hopefully, it’ll be all over soon ... I’m waiting for positive news. The Olympic qualifying period starts on May 1 and I hope to be cleared by then.”
Chong Wei is hoping to resume his rivalry with China’s Lin Dan and Chen Long as well as Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen in a bid to end Malaysia’s elusive search for an Olympic gold medal at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.