Ratchanok, a former world champion and No.1, reportedly failed a dope test during the Uber Cup team tournament in China in May – a development which is being widely seen as a major blow to Thailand’s bid to claim their first ever badminton medal at the Olympics.
A sample taken from Ratchanok has been sent to a laboratory in Japan for a second test and so far there has been no word from the Badminton World Federation (BWF) on the result.
A verdict from the BWF in Ratchanok’s case is not expected until Monday (July 18), prolonging the anxiety gripping both the player and her large army of fans.
Thana Chaiprasit, chief of the Thai delegation to the Aug 5-21 Rio Games, said yesterday that the National Olympic Committee of Thailand will include Ratchanok’s name in its 52-player list for the Olympics unless there is a notification from the BWF.
The last date to send the entries to the International Olympic Committee is Monday.
Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul, president of the Badminton Association of Thailand, said that the BAT is not in a position to give any information to the public because it is prohibited by the BWF rules.
“We have to obey the BWF rules and abstain from giving any inconclusive information at the moment. This is in the best interest of our athlete as well,” she said.
“We are working day and night to resolve the problem and get Ratchanok to play in the Olympics.
“She is one of the country’s medal hopes in the Olympic Games.”
Ratchanok was reportedly given an injection to treat a nagging knee injury before the China tournament and that could possibly be the reason for her sample reportedly testing positive.
While fans have rallied to the star’s support, Ratchanok, apart from leaving a short and cryptic message on the Instagram, has kept quiet and avoided the spotlight.
“I’m faded”, were the words she posted to accompany a picture of the stars in the night sky, which could be a reflection of her sombre mood but also left it to fans to draw their own conclusions.
Ratchanok, who won three titles in April, has said she wants to win an Olympic medal.
“I hope that I can get the gold medal for Thailand,” Ratchanok said in a recent interview. “It's not too difficult for me and I believe that I can do it.”
Read original story here.