Five things to know about Malaysian badminton star Lee Chong Wei

Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei hits a return during his men's singles final match against Indonesia's Tommy Sugiarto at the Malaysian Open Super Series 2014 badminton tournament in Kuala Lumpur on Jan 19, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei hits a return during his men's singles final match against Indonesia's Tommy Sugiarto at the Malaysian Open Super Series 2014 badminton tournament in Kuala Lumpur on Jan 19, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

Badminton's world No.1 Lee Chong Wei has been provisionally suspended from competition by the sport's world governing body for a doping violation.

The news has stunned his army of fans, who idolise the Malaysian for his achievements on the court and a squeaky-clean image.

Here are five things to know about the badminton star.

BiodataName: Lee Chong WeiAge: 32Nationality: MalaysianHeight: 1.70mWeight: 60kgHighest singles ranking: 1

1. Honours

Lee made his professional debut in 2000, but had to wait until 2003 for the first of his 55 international titles, the Malaysia Satellite. He cemented his status as one of the game's top players when he beat rival Lin Dan in the 2005 Malaysia Open final, repeating the feat in 2006. He won the season-ending Badminton World Federation (BWF) Super Series Masters Finals men's singles title four times (2008-2010, 2013), and the prestigious All England Open three times (2010, 2011, 2014). Lee has topped the badminton world rankings for almost 300 weeks, and is a four-time winner of the BWF Player of the Year award (2009-2011, 2013).

He is also Malaysia's most successful athlete at the Olympics, with two silver medals in the men's singles event (2008, 2012). Unfortunately the BWF World Championship singles title (three finals) and the Olympic gold (two finals) continues to elude him.

2. Basketball

Lee's badminton career might not have taken off – if not for the intervention of his mother. As a child, Lee's preferred sport was actually basketball. But mother Khor Kim Choi disliked the idea of her son playing outdoors in the searing heat. At 10, he picked up badminton, after father Lee Ah Chai took him to a badminton hall. The rest, as they say, is history.

3. Rivalry with Lin Dan

His time at the pinnacle of the sport was marked by his epic battles with China's Lin Dan. The 31-year-old, nicknamed Super Dan, is widely considered the best player of his generation.

The Chinese seldom tops the world rankings as he is selective about the tournaments he plays. But he holds a superior 23-9 head-to-head record against Lee, including two consecutive Olympic final victories (2008, 2012). Their last meeting was at the Incheon Asian Games singles semi-final, which eventual winner Super Dan won 22-20, 12-21, 21-9.

4. Datukship

Lee was conferred the Darjah Setia Pangkuan Negeri (DSPN) by the state of Penang in August 2008, shortly after clinching a men's singles silver medal at the year's Olympics in Beijing. The DSPN is awarded to individuals who have contributed remarkable and outstanding services to the state, and is limited to 800 living persons. It carries the title Datuk, and comes with lifetime pension payments of RM3,000 ($1,161) a month.

5. Personal life

In 2012, Lee married team-mate and childhood sweetheart Wong Mew Choo, whom he first met at a training camp in 2001, when both were still reserve players in the national team.

Wong, while not as successful as her husband, has two team golds and two individual silvers at the Commonwealth Games.

The pair admitted their relationship had been “on-off”, marred by a public break-up in 2009 amid speculation that Lee was seeing South Korean player Hwang Hye Youn.

They patched up a year later, denying the allegations, and tied the knot over a two-day dinner celebration at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. The dinner was attended  by several VIPs, including Malaysian ministers Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and Koh Tsu Koon.

The couple welcomed their first child, son Kingston, in August 2013.