Lifetime bans warning in betting, fixing crackdown

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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) on Thursday.

It will also be considered an offence for badminton players, officials and referees to fail to report knowledge of illegal betting or related infractions, to hide evidence, or refuse to cooperate with investigations, the Kuala Lumpur-based BWF said.

“BWF is committed to clean sport and this code is for everyone in badminton,” the organisation’s secretary general Thomas Lund said in a statement.

“It covers almost all people associated with our sport and addresses circumstances that have come about with the evolution of badminton.”

He added: “The integrity of our sport is clearly a critical area which we take very seriously.”

Badminton officials raised the alarm about betting after 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.

The new code prescribes tougher sanctions for violations.

“In serious cases, this could mean a lifetime ban from badminton,” the BWF statement said.

Match-fixing and illegal betting have emerged as concerns in a number of sports, including football and cricket.

Tennis was also rocked by match-fixing allegations in a joint BBC/BuzzFeed investigation published before January’s Australian Open.

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