Officials and players are still in disbelief after badminton's world number one Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia was officially dropped from next month's Yonex-Sunrise Hong Kong Open due to a suspected doping case. Hong Kong Badminton Association chairman Tong Wai-lun announced the official entries for the US$350,000 tournament on Tuesday and, as expected, Lee was not in the 356-strong players' list. Lee has won three singles titles in Hong Kong in the past nine years. I feel really sorry for Lee if the allegation is true. He is a good ambassador of the sport because of his skills, playing attitude and his off-court behaviour Tong Wai-lun "I feel really sorry for Lee if the allegation is true," said Tong, who is also a personal friend of the Malaysian. "He is a good ambassador of the sport because of his skills, playing attitude and his off-court behaviour. I have never met a player who works harder than Lee, despite being the world number one for so many years. "We don't know too much about the case but if he is going to be suspended, which is likely to be a two-year ban, it will be a big blow to the sport in terms of worldwide promotion." The tournament will be held at the Coliseum from November 18-23 as one of the 12 super series legs under the Badminton World Federation. "We still have a strong line-up and most of the top players who turned up at the recent World Championships in Copenhagen will be playing in Hong Kong," he said. Hong Kong's Wei Nan, who clinched a joint third place with Lee at the Asian Games in Incheon, said there was little reason for Lee to take performanceenhancing drugs. "I don't think he needs the help of doping to improve his performance. He is such a good player with such fine skills which doping could help little. He may have taken something by accident without doping intention," said Wei. But Wei admitted Lee's absence would probably give him a better draw. "I was in the last 16 last year and hopefully I can do better this time, especially without Lee," he said. Two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan, who beat Lee in the semi-finals and went on to win the Asian Games title, will be the player to beat, along with fellow Chinese team member Chen Long, who has replaced Lee as top seed. In the women's singles, newly crowned world champion Li Xuerui of China and compatriots, Asian Games champion Wang Yihan and Wang Shixian, are among the favourites.