KUALA LUMPUR: Badminton players and others linked to the sport face possible lifetime bans for betting on or fixing matches under toughened rules announced by the Badminton World Federation (BWF).
The BWF also made it an offence not to report knowledge of illegal betting or failure to co-operate with BWF investigations as they bid to avoid the plight of tennis, which has been rocked by match-fixing allegations.
“BWF are committed to clean sport and this code is for everyone in badminton,” BWF secretary general Thomas Lund said in a statement on Thursday.
“It covers almost all people associated with our sport and addresses circumstances that have come about with the evolution of badminton.
“We can demand interviews with anyone in the sport as well as ask those who are alleged to have committed offences to hand over items such as mobile phones, laptops, telephone records.”
Badminton was hit by a match-fixing scandal at the 2012 London Olympics when eight players, from China, South Korea and Indonesia, were kicked out of the women’s doubles tournament for deliberately trying to lose matches.
Danish players Hans-Kristian Vittinghus and Kim Astrup said in October that they received offers to throw matches.
They said the offers were made by a Malaysian man who claimed to have previously fixed matches in the Singapore Open and Thomas Cup.
Lund said the new code, which covers players and their entourages, event staff, referees and volunteers, had been under review since 2010 and follows a tightening of anti-doping rules in January.
“The integrity of our sport is clearly a critical area which we take very seriously,” the Dane said. — Reuters