Zhou Mi (badminton)
|Competitor for China|
|Bronze||2004 Athens||Women's Singles|
|Gold||2002 Busan||Women's Singles|
Zhou Mi (Chinese: 周蜜; pinyin: Zhōu Mì; Jyutping: zau1 mat6; born February 18, 1979 in Nanning, Guangxi) is a Chinese female badminton player. During much of her career she represented the People's Republic of China, but since 2007 she has represented Hong Kong which has a sports program and teams independent from those of the mainland. In 2010 she received a 2-year ban, for failing a drugs test.
Since 1998 Zhou has won more than twenty international singles titles on the world circuit and has achieved number one world rankings at various times. She was a silver medalist behind compatriot Gong Ruina at the 2001 IBF World Championships and was a bronze medalist at the 2003 Championships. She won women's singles at the quadrennial Asian Games in 2002, defeating Gong Ruina in the final. Zhou is a three-time finalist at the prestigious All-England Championships where she captured the title in 2003. She played singles for world champion Chinese Uber Cup (women's international) teams in 2002 and 2004.
At the 2004 Athens Olympics Zhou reached the semifinal round where she was eliminated from gold medal contention by fellow countrywoman Zhang Ning. She then defeated Gong Ruina in the playoff for the bronze medal. The circumstances behind Zhou's semifinal defeat are controversial, however, because China's national coach Li Yongbo later confirmed rumors that he had instructed Zhou not to fight hard after she had dropped the first game to Zhang. His rationale was that a fresh Zhang Ning would have a better chance to defeat a non-Chinese opponent, the Netherlands' Mia Audina, in the final.
"Retirement" and comeback
Whether the Olympic episode or subsequent injury and poor performance was the primary cause, Zhou apparently retired from badminton during the 2005 season. She played no tournaments in 2006 but secured residence in Hong Kong through its Quality Migration program. Zhou then reemerged on the world badminton circuit during the 2007 season. From a weak start at the Singapore Open her results dramatically improved to the point where she had regained a number one world ranking as of the end of the year 2008. Since launching her comeback Zhou's titles have included the New Zealand and Philippines Opens in 2007, and the Korea, India, Macau Opens, and China Masters in 2008. In December, Zhou ended the 2008 season by winning the BWF Super Series Masters Finals, the biggest prize money event in the sport.
Positive clenbuterol test and two years ban
The BWF announced on 4 September 2010 that a BWF Doping Hearing conducted in Copenhagen on Monday 23 August has banned Zhou Mi for 2 years from participation in badminton, following an Adverse Analytical Finding. A sample taken from her in late June as part of the BWF's 'out-of-competition' testing programme. Zhou tested positive to clenbuterol, a Class 1 Anabolic Agent on the WADA Prohibited List of substances.
On 27 October 2011, more than one year after she was handed a two-year ban for testing positive for clenbuterol, former badminton world No1 Zhou Mi reiterated her innocence. "At the time of the test, I was not competing or preparing to compete. There was not even the slightest reason or incentive for me to take any performance- enhancing substance," said Zhou. Regardless of the incident, Zhou, now 32, added it was time for her to retire from the sport. Clenbuterol can be consumed from eating contaminated food.
- Miami Lakes Internationals - Zhou Mi back in Business, BadZine.info, 23 April 2007]
- Zhou Mi banned for two years Badminton World Federation. Saturday, 04 September 2010.
- Former No1 Zhou reiterates innocence over positive drug test The Standard. Friday, 28 October 2011