KUALA LUMPUR: Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) deny there is a gag order yet shuttlers preparing for the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals in New Delhi from May 18-25 are now off-limits to the media.
The shuttlers are currently undergoing centralised training at Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara, and any request for an interview with a player or coach now has to go through Rashid Sidek, who is the Thomas-Uber Cup project leader.
The courts are also off-limits to the media during the morning and afternoon training sessions unlike previous preparations for major assignments.
It is understood that the order comes from BAM president Tengku Tan Sri Mahaleel Tengku Ariff who doesn’t want the players to be disturbed during training.
BAM general manager Kenny Goh denied there is a gag order in place.
”There is no gag order ... but interviews have to go through the proper channels. In this case, it is Rashid.
”It’s the last phase of centralised training and we want the players to focus on what they are doing and not be distracted.”
The 10-man squad for the Thomas Cup Finals are world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei, Chong Wei Feng, Liew Daren, Goh Soon Huat, Hoon Thien How, Tan Wee Kiong, Lim Khim Wah, Goh V Shem, Tan Boon Heong and Chan Peng Soon.
Malaysia are in Group C, which also comprises South Korea, Germany and India.
As for the Uber Cup, the squad consists of Tee Jing Yi, Yang Li Lian, Lim Yin Fun, Lim Chiew Sien, Vivian Hoo, Woon Khe Wei, Amelia Anscelly, Soong Fie Cho, Lee Meng Yean and Lim Yin Loo.
They are in Group D with Japan, Denmark and Germany.
Various activities, including gymnasium workouts and video viewing sessions, have been plannned for the players during the 10-day centralised camp, which started on Monday.
The shuttlers and coaches leave for New Delhi on May 15.
The top two teams in each grouop will advance to the last eight and a fresh draw will determine the quarter-final match-ups.