Pregnant Zhou Mi claims innocence in doping scandal

During a press conference held in her lawyer’s office in Hong Kong on Thursday, Zhou Mi launched an appeal for the world to believe she’s innocent. The Hong Kong citizen, […]

During a press conference held in her lawyer’s office in Hong Kong on Thursday, Zhou Mi launched an appeal for the world to believe she’s innocent. The Hong Kong citizen, who is pregnant, revealed that the over-the-counter medicine she took did not contain Clenbuterol. It came most likely from contaminated pork.

Raphael Sachetat, with press release. Photos: Rights reserved.

I am truly innocent.”  This is how Zhou Mi ends her 2 page-long explanation on why she was was sending an appeal to the world to believe her.  The Hong Kong girl is back in the limelight, this time with scientific proofs to back up her case.

Zhou was given a 2-year ban for when traces of Clenbuterol were found in her urine samples during a test taken out of competition on June 28th, 2010. The Hong Kong shuttler thought that the cause was an over-the-counter medicine that she had taken to cure a flu.

Clenbuterol was not in the drug I took.

I initially thought that the positive test result may have been due to my taking of over-the- counter Chinese medicine to treat my illness in or around May 2010. But I then remembered that I had previously taken the same over-the-counter Chinese medicine for flu, so I decided to send samples of the medicine to be tested at the Intertek lab in Australia, at my own expense, and the report which came back on 6 October 2010 confirmed that the medicine did not contain any Clenbuterol,” she stated.

Failing to bring back evidence on time, however, the shuttler admits she was not well advised at the time; hence she was too late to get her appeal received by the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) and was confirmed banned by the sports Authority and the BWF. Later on, a law firm and experts came to help, taking things in hand and sending more tests to independent laboratories, which resulted in the thought that the banned substance was taken from contaminated meat.

Since ruling out the Chinese medicine as the source of Clenbuterol in my urine sample, I have suspected that the low trace of Clenbuterol found in my body was the result of my unknowing consumption of Clenbuterol-contaminated pork.” This was backed up by other results, including the “Hair Drug “ test – which had shown that the concentration of Clenbuterol was quite low and hinted it was not sufficient to significantly help a player’s performance.

I just want to clear my name.

I would like to make clear that at the time of the test, I was not competing or preparing to compete in any event. There was not even the slightest reason or incentive for me to take any performance-enhancing substance. I had never even heard of Clenbuterol at the time. Nobody had. Moreover, prior to this incident, I had had a perfect track record for over 20 years. So the positive test result which came out in July 2010 was therefore as big a surprise to me as it was to the whole badminton community.  To put things in perspective, I am currently in my thirties and will become a mother very soon, so irrespective of the incident, I was already due to retire as a professional badminton player.

Examples of top athletes having been cleared of using Clenbuterol willingly – such as top cyclist Alberto Contador – might work in Zhou Mi’s favour.  Zhou, who says she will not compete any more, said she wished her name to be cleared in order to “contribute to the sport of badminton – which has given me everything – in whatever ways I can.

Raphaël Sachetat

About Raphaël Sachetat

Raphael is the Chief Editor of Badzine International. He is the founder of the website together with Jean François Chauveau. After many years writing for the BWF and many publications around the world about badminton, he now leads a team of young and dynamic writers for Badzine.