The time has come for the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) to come down hard on shuttlers, who are smokers, reported The Star Online.
The news portal reported that BAM intended to make it mandatory for all state shuttlers to “undergo smoking tests before they are accepted into the national team.”
It also said seniors and juniors in the national team would be tested in the middle of the year.
“The shuttlers will have their blood tested by the NSI (National Sports Institute). The test will show us whether a shuttler is a smoker or not,” BAM technical director Morten Frost was quoted as saying.
“If a smoker kicks his habit, it will take three months for the chemicals to be cleared from his or her blood.”
The first batch of players to undergo the test in March are Muhd Syazmil Idham (Selangor), Ng Jia Jun (Johor) and Amir Syazwan Al Razi Shahriman Bakhtiar (Perlis).
Frost added that it was his priority this year to increase the fitness level of all national players.
“If they fail the test, they will be dropped from the national team. They must quit if they want to regain their place in the national team,” the Dane was quoted as saying.
“We have to start somewhere and the best way is to start with the new faces coming into the national team.
“We want to put the system in place so that we can focus on our athletes’ fitness programme and their commitment in training.”
When asked if any player had been caught smoking prior to this, he said there were but it was a small number.
“We’re dealing with it now.”