India’s badminton world champion PV Sindhu has been named as one of the ambassadors of a campaign launched by the Badminton World Federation (BWF),
The campaign, entitled “I am badminton” seeks to raise awareness about the importance of clean and honest play in the sport. Apart from Sindhu, the other ambassadors appointed include Michelle Li of Canada, the Chinese pair of Huang Ya Qiong and Zhung Si Wei, Jack Shephard of England, and Germany’s Valeska Knoblauch.
The key message of the campaign is that every player has the right to take part in a sport that is clean, above board and transparent, and that offences such as matching #fixing, the manipulation of results, and doping, are not only against the rules, but are also against the ethos and spirit of the sport.
Although is aimed generally, the message is targeted specifically at youth and para badminton players who are considered at greater risk of corruption because of their lower profile, and lack of international exposure. It is hoped that the use of role models like Sindhu will deter them from straying off the right path.
Whilst not as widely reported as similar offences in tennis, badminton has had its own problems with match fixing and doping in recent years.
In 2018 two Malaysian players, Tan Chung Seang, and former junior world champion Zulfaidi Zulkiffi, were given career-ending bans for a series of infringements stretching over a number of years. And last year, Denmark’s Joachim Persson, a former top ten player, was banned from the sport for 18 months after failing to disclose in a timely manner, illegal approaches had received to fix two of his matches.
Similarly, former world number one Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia was suspended for doing in 2015, whilst Thailand’s Rachanok Intanon failed a doping test last April. She escaped a ban, however, after a panel accepted her explanation that she had inadvertently ingested an illegal substance whilst eating meat.