Badminton official banned for life over corruption claims

Kuala Lumpur (AFP) –


Badminton's world governing body Wednesday banned former council member Raj Gaya from the sport for life and hit him with a fine of $50,000 over alleged misuse of funds.

Gaya, from Mauritius, had since 1999 held positions with the Badminton World Federation (BWF), the Badminton Confederation of Africa and the Mauritius Badminton Association (MBA).

The BWF Ethics Hearing Panel began investigating the official in June last year after former MBA president Bassir Mungroo "raised several allegations" of corruption against him, it said in a report.

The ethics panel said their probe revealed Gaya had diverted funds meant for the MBA to his personal bank account and used them "for his own benefit".

It also said he had exaggerated or falsified expense claims, forged official documents and refused to cooperate with the investigation.

Gaya told officials he had used the funds for "badminton related expenses", as well as "political reasons" including "to get African people on his side", according the report.

The three-member panel chaired by Sylvia Schenk two weeks ago said it would ban Gaya from "performing any function in badminton for life" and ordered him to pay the fine -- a decision upheld by the BWF on Wednesday.

In recent years, BWF has embarked on a mission to root out corruption, match-fixing and illegal gambling from the sport.

In May, two Malaysian badminton players received career-ending bans for match-fixing.