Malaysian badminton ace Lee Chong Wei fears he will never realise his dream of becoming world and Olympic champion after he was suspended for failing a drugs test, a report said on Wednesday.
The world number one is temporarily barred from competition after testing positive to the banned anti-inflammatory dexamethasone, for which he could face an eventual suspension of up to two years.
"If I am suspended for a long time, it will affect my chances of becoming a world champion next year and also win the Olympic gold medal in 2016," Lee, 32, told the New Straits Times.
"It has always been my dream to win both titles. It is also the reason why I took up the sport."
Despite topping the badminton rankings for years and reaching five world and Olympic finals, the popular Lee has never been able to win either of the sport's two major prizes.
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) said on Tuesday that Lee was suspended "due to an apparent anti-doping regulation violation" while a panel considers whether he has committed an offence.
Lee tested positive after giving urine samples at the BWF World Championships in August in Copenhagen, where he lost to China's Chen Long in the final.
Lee said the turn of events felt like a "bad dream", adding there was "no way" he could have taken the drug outside of the auspices of Malaysia's National Sports Institute.
"I've been a national player under the BA of Malaysia (BAM) for 15 years and I am very particular about injuries," he told the daily. "I always consult the National Sports Institute for advice."
"There is no way I could have administered dexamethasone into my body by myself. I have lost big matches before but I always bounce back without fail," said Lee.
"Frankly, I still can't believe what has happened to me." Badminton's world body has not announced a date for its hearing into Lee's case.