Badminton: Lee doping hearing set for April 11

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has set April 11 for the long-awaited doping hearing involving Malaysian badminton ace Lee Chong Wei, a top official said Tuesday.

The former world number one is temporarily barred from competition after failing a drugs test at last year's World Championships, and could face a career-ending two-year ban.

Lee tested positive for the banned anti-inflammatory drug dexamethasone at the worlds last August in Copenhagen, where he lost to China's Chen Long in the final. Lee, 32, who said he received dexamethasone during stem cell treatment for a thigh injury last July, has maintained that he will retire if he is banned for two years.

Badminton Association of Malaysia general manager Kenny Goh told AFP that the hearing will be held in Amsterdam, where Lee's lawyer will submit documents to a three-man panel.

"I hope friends and supporters will remain patient and continue to provide the moral support to Chong Wei," he said. The BWF earlier said that Lee was suspended "due to an apparent anti-doping regulation violation" while the panel considers whether he has committed an offence.

The popular Lee, Malaysia's most prominent sportsman, had previously voiced fears he will never realise his dream of becoming world and Olympic champion. Despite topping the rankings for years and reaching five world and Olympic finals, the father-of-one has never been able to win either of badminton's two major titles.

Lee is now the world number three while rival Chen Long of China has risen to world number one.