Iskandar admits to puffing away in Bangkok hotel room

Honest: Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin said he was disappointed because he did not win a point during last month’s Thomas Cup Finals in Bangkok.

KUALA LUMPUR: National singles shuttler Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin has owned up to his mistake and is ready to move forward in his badminton career.

The 28-year-old Iskandar said he forked out 3000 baht (RM372) to pay the fine for smoking at the team hotel during the Thomas Cup Finals in Bangkok, Thailand last month.

Iskandar and Mohd Arif Abdul Latif were questioned for smoking by the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) – after the official hotel where the Malaysian team stayed in Bangkok had sent a bill for payment as they had violated the non-smoking rule.

Iskandar and Arif were members of the Thomas Cup team that crashed out in the quarter-finals at the Finals last month.

Iskandar played as the third singles but failed to deliver the winning point against Denmark in the group tie.

“I’ll not deny it (smoking). I’ve made a mistake and I’ve paid the fine. I’ll leave the rest to the BAM,” said Iskandar.

“I’ve been asked to go for a rehabilitation programme. I’ll do what is necessary and wait for BAM’s next course of action.”

Iskandar said he did not want to dwell on the past.

“I’ve done my best to improve since I recovered from my back injury last year. I’ve worked hard to improve my physical condition,” he said.

“That’s why I was disappointed when I did not win a point for Malaysia (in the tie against Denmark). Sometimes, in dealing with disappointments, one tends to make mistakes.

“I’ll take this as a good lesson and will move forward. I’m very determined to do well in my badminton career.”

The world No. 50 Iskandar’s next major assignment is the Singapore Open from July 17-22.

Due to his low world ranking, he did not make the cut for the Malaysian Open from June 26-July 1 at the Axiata Arena.

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