Malaysia's three-time Olympic silver medallist Lee Chong Wei is battling nose cancer, Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) confirmed on Saturday.
“In response to recent reports concerning Datuk Lee Chong Wei, BAM confirms that the player has been diagnosed with early-stage nose cancer," BAM president Seri Norza Zakaria said in a statement.
Norza said Lee was currently in Taiwan seeking treatment, before adding that he was responding well to treatment.
"He is resting and recuperating amongst family and close friends.
"On behalf of Chong Wei, I would like to thank all Malaysians for your prayers and concern. Your support has been his source of strength and courage," he said.
Norza also urged members of the public to respect Lee and his family's privacy.
"BAM is in constant contact with Chong Wei and we will offer any support we can to our legend,” he added.
Two months ago, BAM had issued a statement saying that the World No 1 was taking a break from the sport as he had been diagnosed with 'a career-ending illness' right after Lee won the Malaysia Open tournament.
It has been reported that Lee went to Taiwan for the treatment and was advised to withdraw from competing in two major tournaments — the Badminton World Championships in August and the Asian Games in Jakarta-Palembang last month — due to a respiratory disorder.
He is expected to return home after completing his treatment at the end of the month.
Lee is a three-time silver medal winner at the Olympics — 2008 Beijing, 2012 London and 2016 Rio editions. The 35-year-old shuttler was also the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Player of the Year in 2009, 2010 and 2011. He is the only shuttler so far to hold the No 1 world ranking for more than a year — 199 consecutive weeks to be precise — from 21 August, 2008 to 14 June, 2012.
Updated Date: Sep 22, 2018 13:56 PM