KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) Olympic badminton gold medalist Lee Yong-dae and fellow-South Korean Kim Ki-jung have been handed one year suspensions by the sport's world governing body for missing doping tests.
In a statement this week, the Malaysian-based Badminton World Federation said as part of its testing program of international level players, "Kim and Lee were required to provide whereabouts information for the BWF to conduct out-of-competition testing. In 2013, both athletes accumulated three whereabouts failures in connection with this administrative process."
Lee won gold in the mixed doubles at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and took a bronze in the men's doubles at London in 2012.
Lee and Kim appeared earlier this month before a three-member BWF Doping Hearing Panel, which found there were extenuating circumstances to only sanction the players for one year instead of the maximum two years because the Badminton Korea Association failed to "make diligent efforts to keep the BWF informed about the players' whereabouts."
The pair are banned from participating in any sanctioned competition from Jan. 23, 2014 to midnight on Jan. 23, 2015. They have the right to appeal their bans to the Court of Arbitration for Sport by Feb. 17.
South Korean news agency Yonhap reported that Badminton Korea Association executive director Kim Jung-soo insisted the two athletes only violated administrative procedures and haven't failed doping tests.
"They have never taken any banned substances," Kim said. "They have never refused any test or tried to avoid being tested. They have passed all of the doping tests at multiple international competitions."