KUALA LUMPUR - Dexamethasone. That is the banned substance that a national athlete is alleged to have been tested positive for.
According to sources, it is a type of steroid medication with anti-inflammatory effects that is usually used to aid an athlete's rehabilitation.
Research has shown that dexamethasone is not a performance-enhancing drug.
It is mainly used for the treatment of allergies, allergic reactions, rheumatologic problems and chronic inflammatory conditions.
This suggests that the athlete who tested positive, widely speculated to be world No. 1 shuttler Datuk Lee Chong Wei, could have used it to minimise pain.
"It is not banned for out-of-competition testing.
"For in-competition testing, it is prohibited if administered orally, intravenously and through intra-muscular or rectal," the sources said.
It is, however, allowed through local infiltration injections (jab around the inflamed tissue - but not into the muscle) and skin applications.
"As it is a medical treatment, a doctor's recommendation is needed. At the same time, the doctor can only perform it with the consent of the patient," the sources added.
Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin confirmed on Monday that an athlete had been tested positive for doping offence.
He, however, refused to identify the athlete until the B sample has been tested.
The date for the B sample to be tested has not been set.
This is the second doping issue to rock Malaysian sport in recent weeks.
Wushu exponent Tai Cheau Xuen was stripped of her gold medal in the women's nanquan and nandao all-around event at the Asian Games in Incheon last month after she tested positive for the stimulant sibutramine.