New Delhi, July 3: As the ongoing All-India U-13 Ranking tournament in Mohali was rocked by an age-fudging scandal, Badminton Association of India (BAI) Secretary Sanjay Mishra has assured players and parents that the association will not tolerate any illegal activity and would take strict action against those found guilty.
Mishra flew down to Mohali on Saturday (July 2) to personally interact with parents during the tournament and spent about an hour hearing the grievances of the parents who were protesting against a bunch of players whom they claimed were overage.
After the meeting, Mishra assured them that the BAI ids of the two players, who were found guilty of submitting questionable documents during registration, would be cancelled while a detailed investigation would be carried out against other players named by the parents.
"Further appropriate action would be taken on those found guilty after the Age-Fraud Committee meeting to decide the quantum of action, Mishra said in a release.
There was talk about whether the tournament that resumed after the meeting would be stripped of ranking points.
But Mishra took the opportunity to clarify that no such decision was made by BAI and the organisers had no authority to take a call on such an important issue.
"Whether the tournament points are deducted or nullified is solely and wholly a discretion of the BAI and not of any outsider as in this case was when some local person created confusion and spread miscommunication among parents and have no business to be entertained.
"BAI has not reduced or cancelled any points," he further added. A similar scandal came to the forefront at the sub-junior badminton event held in Hyderabad between June 19 and 25. Several reports claimed that almost fifty per cent of the total participants at the sub-junior tournament were overage.
As reported in Deccan Herald, a coach of Khelo India educational academy alleged that not only were the players overage, but they were way over the age limit, by six months or more. As reported in DH, the coach said, "There are many gamers who're overage and not by six months or so, however by lots. Greater than 60 per cent of the participants are overage."
The coach further added, "In fact, birth certificates fudging is there however many are playing after submitting medical certificates, rather than birth certificates, to the BAI."