Punished Singaporean shuttler denied C`Wealth chance

Singapore: Singapore`s top badminton player will miss her chance to compete at this year`s Commonwealth Games after being slapped with a suspension for bad behaviour, the sport`s chief in the city-state told Reuters on Thursday.

Singaporean officials hit Zhang Beiwen with the stiffest penalty ever meted out by the Republic when they suspended her for three months without pay and stripped her of the right to train with the national team or attend selection trials and tournaments.

The punishment, imposed for ill discipline and disruptive behaviour at training the Singapore Badminton Association said, means the world number 31 will not be eligible to compete in the trials for New Delhi`s Oct. 3-14 Commonwealth Games.

"SBA would like to send a clear message on the emphasis we place on the professionalism of our players," SBA chief Edwin Pang told reporters.

"We will not tolerate acts of ill-discipline by our players as they have an adverse effect on the national team, regardless of how highly-ranked they may be or how potentially valuable they may be to Singapore in major tournaments."

"In the past, SBA has levied fines and suspension from competitions on errant national players but this is the first time in recent years that we have suspended a national player employed by the Association from both training and competitions without pay."

The SBA said China-born 19-year-old Zhang, a team bronze medallist at last year`s Southeast Asian Games in Laos, had shown "poor attitude at training and tournaments."

"On a number of occasions, she failed to carry out instructions by her coach and comply with the training requirements made of the team. Beiwen had been lacking in discipline and determination, as expected of a professional and a national player."

Men`s doubles and mixed doubles player Hendra Wijaya was also suspended for three months but will receive 50 percent salary for the duration of the suspension and will continue training, Pang said. His punishment was for skipping training.

Pang said both players` places in the national team would be reviewed at the end of their suspensions.

Bureau Report


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