Badminton star Chong Wei diagnosed with cancer

Badminton star Chong Wei diagnosed with cancer

Lee Chong Wei

Malaysian badminton star Lee Chong Wei has early-stage nose cancer and is being treated in Taiwan, sports officials said on Saturday, after weeks of speculation about his health.

The country's most successful Olympian ever, who enjoys superstar status in his homeland, was responding well to the treatment, they said.

But the illness will nevertheless be a devastating blow for the 35-year-old, coming after he clawed his way back up the rankings following a doping ban to play some of the best badminton of his life.

Speculation had been swirling about his health since he stopped turning up for training in July, and the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) announced that he was pulling out of the World Championships and the Asian Games.

Subsequent reports said the three-time Olympic silver medallist had travelled to Taiwan for treatment but officials remained tight-lipped about what he was suffering from.

In a statement on Saturday, BAM president Norza Zakaria said "that the player has been diagnosed with early-stage nose cancer.

"(Lee) is currently in Taiwan seeking treatment and I am pleased to inform you that he is responding well to his treatment and is currently resting and recuperating amongst family and close friends.

"BAM is in constant contact with (Lee) and we will offer any support we can to our legend."


Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox