World No. 1 player Malaysian Lee Chong Wei has been provisionally suspended for an "apparent" anti-doping violation, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) said on Tuesday.
"The world-governing body has imposed this suspension due to an Adverse Analytical Finding of a sample taken at the BWF World Championships in August," the BWF said in a statement. "The BWF has referred the matter to the BWF Doping Hearing Panel and, in due course, the Chair of the Panel will set the time, date and location of a hearing.
"The Panel will determine whether or not the athlete has committed an anti-doping regulation violation," it added.
On Saturday, the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) confirmed that one of their players had tested positive for the banned anti-inflammatory agent dexamethasone but withheld the individual's identity pending an appeal.
The 32-year-old Lee, however, posted messages on his official Twitter and Facebook accounts thanking fans for their support and denying using drugs to gain an advantage.
"I just want to thank every one of you who had faith in me through this difficult times. There are so many unanswered questions and I hope to clear my name soon," he wrote.
"I never cheated nor will I ever rely on banned substances."
Should Lee fail with his appeal, the Malaysian faces a two-year ban and will be stripped of the silver medal he won at the world championships in Copenhagen in August, the location of his positive test.
He would also be likely to lose the two bronze medals he won at the Asian Games in September in the individual and team events.