Coach says Wang will not step in for Zhou
Hong Kong coach Tim He Yiming has ruled out any chance of veteran Wang Chen returning to defend her Asian Games title in November in the wake of former teammate Zhou Mi's ban for a failed drugs test.
'[Wang] has been coaching for a couple of months now and lacks proper training to compete at a high-level event,' He said.
Chan Tsz-ka, who is ranked 34th in the world, will likely replace Zhou in the singles along with world No 12 Yip Pui-yip.
Zhou, 31, was banned for two years by the Badminton World Federation on September 1 after testing positive for the steroid clenbuterol.
She said at the time that she took the substance inadvertently through over-the-counter medication and planned to appeal against the sentence. However, Hong Kong Badminton Association chairman Tong Wai-lun said yesterday they had yet to receive any formal notification from the shuttler, who had been given 21 days to appeal.
Tong also said the former mainlander had told him before the drug incident that she planned to retire from the sport after the Asian Games to get married and begin a family.
'If she gets married and then pregnant, it is unlikely she can pick up the sport again in a short time and play again at the highest level. She may just call it a day and quit the sport,' Tong said. 'But it is a pity all her planning has been disrupted by the incident. We haven't contacted Zhou since the media briefing on September 4 as we want to give her space to think about her next step.'
Zhou is believed to have returned to the mainland. Yesterday, she was quoted on a Chinese website as saying she was still very unhappy with her punishment.
'Until now, I still think the penalty is not fair because I have never used any drug to enhance my performance and this low-grade prohibited substance could hardly help [improve performance]. I should be given a warning instead,' Zhou said.