No smoke without ire for Malaysian badminton player

Shuttler Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin was found to have smoked in his hotel room. (AFP pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian badminton player has been heavily fined for smoking during a tournament, officials said, in the latest untoward incident to hit the sport in the country.

Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin, 28, was fined 50% of his monthly allowance for lighting up in his hotel room during last month’s Thomas Cup in Bangkok, where Malaysia crashed out in the quarter-finals.

He also had to pay the hotel’s fine of 3,000 baht (about RM370) for violating its no-smoking rules, Malaysian reports said.

Iskandar, who is 50th in the men’s singles world rankings, was brought before the Badminton Association of Malaysia’s (BAM) disciplinary committee on June 1.

“The committee sanctioned Iskandar Zulkarnain a one-time 50% fine of his monthly allowance,” the BAM’s disciplinary committee said in a statement on Wednesday, without revealing the amount of the fine.

The statement added that all players will now go through nicotine testing “from time to time”, warning of severe repercussions for anyone who tests positive. Malaysian players are forbidden from gambling or smoking.

Iskandar’s punishment comes a month after two players were hit with decades-long bans for match-fixing and corruption.

Zulfadli Zulkiffli, 25, a former world junior champion who was banned for 20 years, has since appealed the decision.