BAI suspends two players after parents call out association for age-fraud in All India U13 tournaments

The parents of young badminton players protested against the Badminton Association of India for allowing over-aged players to play in the U13 tournament.

Image for representation purposes. (Courtesy: Reuters)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The BAI deactivated IDs of two players on Saturday, 2 June
  • 6300 players were suspended in 2018 over the same issue
  • BAI were forced to delay the competition by a day due to protests

The Badminton Association of India (BAI) took cognisance on Saturday by deactivating the IDs of two players after many parents protested against age-fraud. The association had seen a tremendous amount of pushback from the parents who had come to see their children participate in the All India U13 tournaments, but said that their quantum of punishment will be decided later by the Age Fraud Committee.

Age-fraud, quite common in the junior levels of sports in the earlier days, saw the light of day once again with multiple cases being reported from several venues. Things escalated after parents protested against the association for not taking immediate action. They forced the tournament to be stopped, which though was resumed after a day. The parents had even written a letter to the association on Wednesday, 29 June, but had no response from the association.

“There were complaints against two players from Rajasthan and after getting proof of age fudging we have deactivated their IDs. Further decision on punishment will be taken by the Age Fraud Committee,” BAI secretary Sanjay Mishra told PTI.

“These two players had submitted false birth certificates while making their IDs and after we were made aware of the real documents and verified by the corporation, we decided to take the step.”

Mishra travelled to Chandigarh on Saturday morning and held a meeting with the protesting parents.

“It was a fruitful discussion. I assured them that we will probe the suspected cases thoroughly and accordingly take a decision to ban the player or not.”

“The parents wanted medical tests to be done for the doubtful cases and FIRs to be lodged but I tried to reason with them that even medical tests can be challenged on court as these kids got their IDs after doing medical tests.”

After multiple age-fraud cases emerged in Hyderabad, Sandeep Heble, a member of the Age Fraud Committee, had written a letter to the BAI, urging it to look into the matter.

“I told them that we can’t freeze ranking points or immediately ban anybody, we have to follow a process and they understood. I also apprised them of the steps that BAI will take. So overall things have been smooth,” Mishra said.

The BAI on Thursday had said that it will be forming a panel to conduct a thorough investigation and will impose a ban of minimum two years on the guilty.

(With PTI inputs)

This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire.

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