Badminton: Chinese player Yu hit with retroactive seven-month ban

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Chinese women's badminton player Yu Xiaohan was hit with a retroactive seven-month ban after she was found last year to have ingested a prohibited substance, the Badminton World Federation said on Friday.

The sport's governing body said the ban is now considered to have been served and her eligibility restored with immediate effect.

A testing sample given by Yu at the Summer Universiade competition in Gwangju, South Korea, last July showed the presence of sibutramine, a drug used to treat obesity.

Yu, a doubles player, says she took the substance inadvertently via a supplement, a claim the BWF has accepted.

"In the athlete's favour, it is the (BWF doping panel's) opinion that Ms Yu did not take the pill to cheat or to gain a performance-enhancing advantage," the Kuala Lumpur-based federation said in a statement.

Yu had received a provisional suspension in September pending a review by the doping panel.

The discovery of the violation resulted in Yu being stripped of a pair of doubles silver medals at the games in South Korea.