Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Cordyceps capsules caused Chong Wei's eight-month suspension - Khairy

PUTRAJAYA, April 27 (Bernama) -- Cordyceps capsules containing dexamethasone was the main factor that caused the eight months suspension of former world number one badminton player, Datuk Lee Chong Wei.

Minister of Youth and Sports, Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar said Cordyceps is a natural food product and a form of herbal supplement that was taken by Chong Wei since he was 13 years old.

"Chong Wei has been taking Cordyceps since he was 13 years old because his family believed that its was beneficial for his health," Khairy told press conference on the outcome of the ace's doping hearing, at the KBS Office in Putrajaya, Monday.

Also present was Badminton Association of Malaysia deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria.

Khairy said Chong Wei followed the instructions of his nutritionist at the National Sports Institute (NSI) in terms of what supplement he could or could not safely consume.

He said the nutritionist advised Chong Wei that the Cordyceps in capsule form was safe and that it was not necessary to test the product as long as it was 'pure Cordyceps'.

Khairy reminded all athelets to continually refer to the NSI over the legality of every drug and supplement that they consume.

"We will review what has happened, not only Chong Wei's case but also other athletes under the supervision of NSI.

"Make it a standard operating procedure of NSI (get NSI's nod before consuming supplements or medicine sourced out of NSI. All athletes must learn a lesson from this," he said.

In related matters, Khairy said Chong Wei was still the nation's main hope to secure a gold medal at tthe Rio de Janeiro Olympics next year.

In Chong Wei's case, a panel of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) found that Chong Wei had been 'negligent', but the degree of negligence 'rather light' as "he did not realise he had ingested a Specified Substance (Dexamethasone)".

Appearing before the BWF Doping Hearing Panel on April 11, Chong Wei accepted that Dexamethasone was present in his sample and that he had consequently committed an anti-doping violation under regulation 2.1 of the BWF Anti-Doping Regulations (2009).


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