A urine sample taken from the Hong Kong player in late June tested positive for the drug, the governing body said in a statement on Saturday.
Zhou said she took the drug — used by asthma sufferers or as a weight-loss aid — unknowingly, as it was contained in a Chinese medicine to treat a fever.
Zhou's ban rules her out qualifying for the 2012 London Olympics, but was expected to appeal.
Badminton World Federation chief operating officer Thomas Lund said in a statement it was the body's first drug ban in recent years.
"The case sends a strong message to elite athletes in the sport, who need to be aware of prohibited substances and the consequences of taking these — either deliberately or inadvertently," Lund said.
The Hong Kong Badminton Association said Zhou took the Chinese medication for a fever while training in Singapore in June.
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