KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 — The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has banned the media from covering the hearing of Datuk Lee Chong Wei’s doping case currently taking place at the Sheraton Airport Hotel in Amsterdam.
According to a Berita Harian reporter at the location, BWF’s operations director Stuart Borrie instructed all media personnel who were crowding outside the Saturn Room at the hotel to leave the area as they would not be allowed to snap pictures or take videos of the hearing session.
“You (the media) cannot wait here, I have informed the hotel security and the entrance to this room will be locked.
“If you are not staying at this hotel, you are not permitted to be here,” Borrie was quoted saying in the Malay daily’s report.
The daily added that about five minutes after Borrie spoke to the media, a member of the hotel management conveyed the same message.
The report described the situation as “disappointing”, claiming the Malaysian media had been counting on covering the hearing and offering their support to Malaysia’s national badminton player.
The article written by the daily’s journalist Helmi Talkah went on to allege that BWF officials have been very secretive with details on the case from the very beginning, citing the body’s policy as its main reason.
Last week, BWF gave its assurance that Lee will receive a fair hearing in his doping case.
Lee had tested positive after 2014 World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark, where a random urine sampling first showed traces of a banned anti-inflammatory drug.
The shuttler had reportedly suffered a thigh injury for which he had undergone stem cell treatment in July at a private hospital.
He is provisionally suspended by the BWF and now faces a possible two-year suspension from active competition should he be found guilty of the offence.
He lost in the finals to China’s Chen Long in the Denmark tournament in late August and in the Asian Games in South Korea in September, he lost in the semi-finals to China’s Lin Dan.