Thai Badminton star Ratchanok Intanon was cleared of doping. She broke down into tears as she was relieved that her fears ended. She feared being thwarted from Olympics.
After a tournament in China, the 21-year-old shuttler, had tested positive for a banned substance in May. She has the potential to receive a medal in Rio and is loved by all in Thailand and luckily she was cleared by Badminton World Federation (BWF). BWF stated that the substance had been taken to treat a tendon injury and it is allowed.
“I was confident in my innocence and I am glad that I received justice. I will practice and hope to bring a medal back for Thais,” she told reporters at a press conference in Bangkok.
“The Olympics is my dream,” she added, before bursting into tears.
The fans were left in a nervous suspense when rumours of the positive test result surfaced in the Thai media. The BWF stated that Ratchanok was tested positive for triamcinolone acetonide, a corticosteroid which is banned in most circumstances. However if administered directly into a muscle tendon for medical reasons, it is allowed under the BWF’s rules.
“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,” the BWF said.
Patama Leeswadtrakul, president of the Badminton Association of Thailand, said doctors had been treating Ratchanok for pain in her right hand and back.
“We said it was used honestly to cure her injuries,” she told reporters.
The 21-year-old star remains a next door girl despite achieving fame and money in sporting career. She is called affectionately as Nong May by her fascinated Thai fans. In 2013 she became the youngest ever world champion. She was briefly ranked number 1 after winning Singapore Open in April but has since slipped to fourth.
She is the Olympic medal hope of the country along with few top class athletes. She has managed to charm the audience with both her on-court performance and her rags to riches story. Her parents are migrants to Bangkok from the country’s poor northeast who worked in humdrum jobs at a badminton centre on the outskirts of the city. While they worked, Ratchanok played badminton unlocking her talent at the age of six.
In a recent interview with AFP in Bangkok she said she was “100 percent confident” of bringing home a medal from the Rio Olympics.