KUALA LUMPUR - World No.1 Datuk Lee Chong Wei has finally broken his silence, saying that he is not a cheat and the past month has been beyond unbearable for him.
"On Oct 2, I received a letter that I had failed a dope test after coming back from the Asian Games in Incheon," he said.
"I was shocked," he recalled. "I have played badminton for so long and to experience this for the first time was very difficult."
The 32-year-old was tested positive for dexamethasone during a doping test at the World Championships in Copenhagen on Aug 30.
The B sample of his urine also turned out to be positive.
Stressing that he was not a cheat, he said: "I do not use drugs to enhance my performance.
"Maintaining a good name in the international stage is more important to me.
"I have worked hard all my life and I do not take shortcuts.
"I have been a World No.1 player for so long and have gone through over 100 doping tests. I know the danger of drugs.
"I do not even drink when I go out with friends - to be very sure of what I consume. I am careful.
"I strongly believe that this is not my fault.
"One cannot even buy this banned substance from the counter at any pharmacy.
"It has to be prescribed by a doctor.
"That is why when I was asked whether I wanted to open up sample B, I did not hesitate at all."
He said it was a trying time for him emotionally.
"My wife knows how affected I was. I was hoping that it was all just a bad dream. I was so stressed that I had to leave the country at one point."
Chong Wei said he was appreciative of the many people standing by him.
"Sports Minister (Khairy Jamaluddin) and BAM officials have been very supportive.
"They have guided me through the difficult time and given me wise counselling," he added.
"I will not forget the encouraging words of my fans - here in Malaysia and abroad. I have received many comforting text messages. I want to thank each of them."