A wide range of badminton-related personnel – players, entourage, event staff, referees and volunteers included – risk lifetime bans from the sport if they breach the Badminton World Federation’s upgraded Code of Conduct in Relation to Betting, Wagering and Irregular Match Results.
Players who have competed in at least three international badminton events are now prohibited from betting on all badminton matches as are BWF and continental confederation staff and BWF Referees.
Recently circulated to the international badminton community, the new Code has also strengthened the world-governing body’s authority to investigate allegations of betting, match-fixing or other related corruption.
“We now have much stronger powers to gather information under this Code. 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,” disclosed BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund.
He noted the amended Code has put BWF’s investigative framework, on illegal betting and manipulation of match results, on parallel with information-gathering rules under the enhanced BWF Anti-Doping Regulations (January 2015).
“This has been an ongoing project to enhance the rules system around match-fixing and brings this system into line with investigations and information-gathering in anti-doping cases,” elaborated Lund.
The Code, he said, has been “under review for some time by BWF’s Constitution and Ethics Working Group” which has been focusing on “a range of governance, ethics and sport-rules documents since 2010”.
Under the tougher Code of Conduct, it is also an offence for badminton personnel not to report any knowledge of illegal betting, soliciting or other behaviour that is an offence under the Code; to tamper with or destroy evidence; or not to cooperate with investigations by the BWF.
“BWF is committed to clean sport and this Code is for everyone in badminton. It covers almost all people associated with our sport and addresses circumstances that have come about with the evolution of badminton,” said the BWF Secretary General.
“The integrity of our sport is clearly a critical area which we take very seriously. We have an Integrity Unit and, at the end of last year, we launched an Integrity Campaign which has been unveiling various initiatives to protect and support badminton’s integrity on all levels.
“Having the necessary regulations to tackle integrity issues is a key element in the quest to ensure clean sport.”
Significant sanctions or punishments will apply to anyone who has committed an offence under the revised Code of Conduct. In serious cases, this could mean a lifetime ban from badminton.
APPENDICES – GENERAL COMPETITION REGULATIONS: GCR APPENDIX 5: CODE OF CONDUCT IN RELATION TO BETTING, WAGERING AND IRREGULAR MATCH RESULTS