Badminton World Federation (BWF), the international governing body for the sport of badminton announced on Wednesday, May 2 that the two top Malaysian badminton players were found guilty of corruption and match-fixing. Both the players have been banned for 20 and 15 years respectively.
BWF said that the 25-year-old Zulfadli Zulkiffli, who was a former world junior champion, was banned for 20 years and fined around US$25,000. His compatriot, Tan Chun Seang, 31, who was also found guilty, has to face a ban for 15 years, with a fine of US$15,000.
The BWF statement added that both the players have violated the code of conduct after involving in betting, wagering and irregular match results. The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) said the BWF notified them about two Malaysian shuttlers in December 2017.
During a press conference, Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria, the President of BAM said, "I think it is a reasonable and appropriate sentencing and this will serve as a lesson to other places."
The hearing was conducted by the BWF ethics panel that was held in February 2018 in Singapore. The panel found that both the players were engaged in corruption over a significant period and a significant number of tournaments dating back to 2013.
In addition to that, BWF said that Zulfadli has committed more violations and it was proven that he had manipulated results of four matches. However, as per the reports since January 12, both the players were serving the suspension.
Tan was also banned by the BAM from participating in Asian tournaments for two years after quitting the national team in 2011. In the same year, Zulfadli also defeated Denmark's Viktor Axelsen and clinched the title of World Junior Championship.
Earlier, the star of Malaysian badminton world, 35-year-old Lee Chong Wei said that he became depressed to know that two badminton players from his country have been suspended after an investigation on match-fixing.
Lee said that the BAM have taken "all steps to prevent match-fixing among the shuttlers but they do not have control over independent shuttlers. Maybe, it's time for BAM to look into stricter ways to monitor the independent shuttlers. News like this does not put Malaysian badminton in a good light."