BWF to police withdrawals by players from same country

LONDON, (Reuters) – Badminton’s world governing body  is threatening severe penalties for players who cite injury or  illness and pull out of matches without good reason when playing  someone from their own country.    

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) made the announcement yesterday during the world championships at Wembley Arena.   

It comes after an executive board meeting heard from a  special three man-panel set up last month after speculation  about the legitimacy of some withdrawals at recent tournaments.   

Concern had been expressed that withdrawals eased the way  for countries to improve the rankings of certain players and  that spectators were deprived of matches they had paid to see.  

Action is to be stepped up with immediate effect. A  statement said: “The BWF will for all international tournament  levels ensure a focused monitoring process on all matches  between players from the same country to eliminate potential  speculation.   

“If compelling evidence is found of any irregularities the  matter will be treated with the utmost gravity by the BWF and  severe penalties will be imposed.”   

BWF chief operating officer Thomas Lund told a media  conference: “It’s an area we take very seriously and it’s an  area that will be monitored especially during the Olympic  qualification period leading up to London 2012.”   
Sanctions could range from taking away world ranking points  to suspension.   


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