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Puffing players

MALAYSIA'S top field hockey players are puffing their way to mediocrity and need to quit cigarettes to revive their flagging national team, a senior sports official said yesterday.

Although smoking had led to a sharp drop in fitness and a slide down the world rankings, calls for players to kick the habit have fallen on deaf ears, according to Ramlan Aziz, director-general of Malaysia's National Sports Institute. "This bad habit is common in the national hockey teams and it has affected the fitness of the players," Aziz said. "Where is the sacrifice from these players? We have started educating them but there is little we can do when they ignore advice."


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