Jun 23, 2015

    Lee wins first title after 8-month doping ban


    FORMER world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei won the US Open on Sunday to claim his first badminton title since returning from an eight-month doping ban.

    The 32-year-old Malaysian, twice an Olympic silver medallist and World Championship runner-up, beat Hans-Kristian Vittinghus of Denmark 22-20, 21-12 in Brentwood, New York.

    "I'm happy with my performance in the US Open even though this is my (first) individual tournament after nine months. Thank you fans and supporters, I love you all," Lee posted on his Facebook page after his win in the third-tier, Grand Prix Gold-level event.

    The Perak-born shuttler returned to the court only last month, after he tested positive for dexamethasone at the World Championships in August.

    Facing a career-ending two-year ban, Lee argued that he had gained no benefit from the supplement he had taken inadvertently, convincing the Badminton World Federation - the sport's governing body - to reduce his backdated suspension to eight months.

    His inactivity has led to his world ranking tumbling to 180, but his first title since winning the Japan Open a year ago will give him hope of making an impression at the World Championships in Indonesia in August.