SEOUL - South Korea's Olympic badminton gold medallist Lee Yong-dae has had his one-year ban for missing dope tests reversed, the Badminton World Federation announced on Tuesday, leaving him free to compete at this year's Asian Games.
The 25-year-old won mixed doubles gold at the 2008 Games in Beijing and a bronze medal in the men's doubles in London four years later. Another Korean player, Kim Ki-jung, was also banned for one year.
The BWF had given the players one-year suspensions in January for "violating the requirements relating to filing whereabouts information and resulting missed tests under the BWF Anti-Doping Regulations".
Both players appealed the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
At the time, the BWF said it chose not to dish out the maximum two-year ban due to the Korean association's failure to make diligent efforts to keep the BWF informed about the players' whereabouts.
On Tuesday, however, the BWF said on its official website that new evidence had been presented as part of the disciplinary process, evidence that should have been made available in January.
It added that the sanctions had been reversed and the players were eligible to resume playing immediately. "The information and evidence presented at the January hearing was insufficient and ambiguous and there was no proof beyond reasonable doubt that the players were not at fault," said the BWF.
"The appropriate decision applied at that time. "However, this new evidence renders the CAS Appeal almost entirely unnecessary as it means 'material evidence' would be presented for the first time without having been made available to or evaluated by the BWF Doping Hearing Panel." After reviewing its original decision, the BWF panel wiped out the players' "missed tests and filing failures" and expunged their records.
The doubles specialists will now be able to compete at the Asian Games from Sept. 19 to Oct 4 on home soil in Incheon.