BANGKOK — The Badminton World Federation on Monday announced that star badminton player Ratchanok “May” Intanon did not use any banned substances as earlier suspected.
The inquiry result means a provisional ban on Ratchanok was immediately lifted and she was back on track to compete in the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro.
On its website, the badminton’s world governing body said the stimulant substance found in a May 15 test of Ratchanok’s urine in China was in fact the result of routine medical treatment.
“The panel concluded that because the route of administration of the substance in the medical treatment process was intratendinous – an authorized administration route – no violation of the regulations was committed,” read the statement posted 9am.
“I had to endure it all. I was ordered to stop training by the BWF,” said the 21-year-old athlete, using acronym of the Badminton World Federation. “But I was always confident of my innocence. I didn’t do anything wrong.”
When news emerged last week that Ratchanok was suspended from all matches by the world federation following the May test result, it appeared she would miss her ticket to the games in Rio, which were only three weeks away.
But Thailand’s Badminton Association filed for a retest, and today’s result means Ratchanok can compete for the Thai national team at Rio, said association president Patama Leeswadtrakul.
“We have endured so much so that Ratchanok and other Olympian athletes can compete in Rio,” Patama said at Monday’s news conference. “We do this for the nation. We want to fulfill dreams of Thai people to see her getting a medal.”
In 2013, Ratchanok became the first Thai athlete to hold the title of No. 1 in Women’s singles. She’s currently ranked No. 4.