Ok, some homework. Do what some players appear to be doing: 1) Grasp the shuttle in your left hand palm,encircle the feathers with your fingers. 2) Use the index or lower fingers and squeeze the stems inwards to weaken them. 3) Alternatively hold the shuttle in your left hand and use your racquet hand to smoothen the feathers, then instead of smoothening the feathers,use the thumb and index and bend the stem outwards where it meets the feathers. 4) I think weakening the stems have an effect of softening the shuttle and making it slower as it becomes unstable and less resilient because of weak stem/base, and it cannot be detected! Of course you need weight training to strengthen your left hand fingers to be able to press so hard undetected, Try it out and see if there is any noticeable effect. If it is true, there is no need for further discussion, we may owe some veterans an apology and its time for BWF to remind players not to tamper with the shuttle,even smoothening out the feathers. Now why did they remove that rule. I won't say its cheating just an unfair advantage like the S service. Also pity the poor geese, what with every player crushing the shuttle everytime they think it is too fast.