KUALA LUMPUR - National Sports Council (NSC) director-general Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong hopes that badminton superstar Datuk Lee Chong Wei will be able to put behind him the alleged suicide attempt by his father in light of the player's involvement in the London Olympics next month.
Chong Wei's father, Lee Ah Chai, 59, was widely reported by the press yesterday to have allegedly attempted to end his life by trying to jump off the Penang bridge on Sunday morning but was stopped by police.
Ah Chai, however, was quoted by an English newspaper yesterday, denying that he had attempted to commit suicide and instead said the incident was a misunderstanding.
"This is a rare circumstance which has never happened to any of our athletes before," said Zolkples, when met at the National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil here yesterday.
"It is obviously a worrying incident for us as the (London-bound) athletes are in their last phase of preparation for the Olympics
"I hope he will be able to settle the matter as soon as possible so he can continue to prepare for the Olympics. However, that is obviously easier said than done.
"It is also important for him (to settle the matter) as he is still recovering from an injury and needs to focus on the rehab."
Zolkples said he was confident Chong Wei would be able to deal with the incident and extended his support.
"Chong Wei has often told me in the past that he has a huge responsibility towards his family."
Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) deputy president Datuk Al Amin Majid said the national body would do all it could to provide support.
"The incident will have some effect on Chong Wei's preparation for the Olympics and BAM will give him all the support he needs to face this difficult period," said Al Amin.
"We don't want him to feel added pressure. We want him to just focus on his training.
"We also hope that the fans and media will understand Chong Wei's situation and give him some breathing space."
Chong Wei, 30, is under immense pressure as he is targeted to deliver the nation's first gold medal at the Olympics this year.
The Penang-born, however, suffered an ankle injury while competing at the Thomas Cup Finals in China last month.