Minister: Drug administered to Lee Chong Wei by specialist sports clinic

PUTRAJAYA: The banned substance dexamethasone was not administered to Datuk Lee Chong Wei by doctors at the National Sports Institute (ISN) but from a specialist sports clinic as part of a stem cell treatment for his injury.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said it was usual for national athletes to be referred to the Kuala Lumpur-based clinic for specialised treatment such as stem cell procedures.

"There are times when ISN refers our athletes to the private specialist. The doctors at ISN did not administer dexamethasone to the athlete but it was done at the clinic," he said after attending the launch of the GeNexter Carnival 2014 yesterday.

He said the use of dexamethasone was allowed, but only when athletes were "out of competition".

"Many athletes use it outside competition and it usually lasts about 10 days in the system. However, we do not know why it was still in his body," he said.

Chong Wei had reportedly suffered an inner thigh injury and sought stem cell treatment in July.

Last week, Khairy had said that an investigation on the shuttler's medical history revealed that dexamethasone was administered into his body on July 17 to treat his injury.

Chong Wei, 32, pulled out from the Glasgow Commonwealth Games from July 23-Aug 3 to recover from the injury for the Copenhagen World Championships from Aug 25-31.

He was tested positive for dexamethasone during a random doping test at the world meet.

Results of a second test done in Norway had returned positive, resulting in a temporary suspension of Chong Wei pending the outcome of a Badminton World Federation hearing.

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Minister: Drug administered to Lee Chong Wei by specialist sports clinic

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