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BAM are keeping a close eye on all their players and making sure they do not succumb to online gambling amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

As difficult as it may be, BAM coaching director Wong Choong Hann said it’s crucial to uphold integrity, more so in trying times.

Following Timesport‘s report on gambling by athletes on Sunday, Choong Hann said: “I definitely agree with you. This is a topic that will be brought up with the coaches and players.

“Gambling on casino games, like poker or slot machines, and match-fixing are two very different things, but in principle BAM are against all of them.

“The players know the serious consequences they have to face should they get caught.

“More importantly, instead of instilling fear, we need to educate our players.

“They need to fill their time well. Get them to focus on what they truly want as professional athletes, then we do not need to worry about them getting involved in such activities.”

However, the former World No 1 admitted that BAM did not always have it easy.

Last year, Choong Hann personally dealt with several players who had financial woes, some linked to gambling.

“Yes, these players did slip up a little but they have come to realise it as well.

“And because they learned it the hard way, they will not go back. The chances are very low.

“I agree that negative influence can come from all sides, but like I mentioned earlier, we want to build athletes with integrity.

“When they can see the beauty of what it means, they will not be tempted to pick up a habit that will possibly destroy their careers,” added Choong Hann.

BAM also welcome any information on their players, if there is any.

Their whistle-blower system to combat match-fixing has been up and running.

As the Movement Control Order enters its fifth week, national shuttlers continue to train at home.

In the meantime, it’s best for the players to stay away from all forms of gambling, if they want to keep their places in the national squad.

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