Joachim Persson match-fixing case: key witness Alistair Casey tells his side of the story (Part I)

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Alistair Casey (R) sheds some light on how BWF conduct the match-fixing scandal involving Joachim Persson. (photo: Toshifumi Kitamura / Scanpix Denmark)
Alistair Casey (R) sheds some light on how BWF conduct the match-fixing scandal involving Joachim Persson. (photo: Toshifumi Kitamura / Scanpix Denmark)

Copenhagen: On March 21, 2019, Denmark’s a former World’s top-10 player Joachim Persson was found guilty by Badminton World Federation’s ethics panel of failing in a timely fashion to disclose approaches to fix two of his matches, and was subsequently banned for 18 months.

Persson’s match-fixing case was first made public on March 21, 2019. However, behind the scene, BWF has actually began the investigation dated all the way back in late 2016. Although, there was no concrete evidence to suggest that Persson has involved any match manipulation, but BWF went on to find the Denmark player guilty of four violations of the Code of Conduct in Relation to Betting Wagering and Irregular Match Results including: failing to disclose details of an approach, not cooperating fully with investigations conducted by the BWF and not fully disclosing information to the BWF following a formal request to do so.

Persson was also fined $4,500 by BWF.

Now, one of the main whistleblower that was involved in this case, 38-year-old Scotsman Alistair Casey had stood out for the first time and told Danish media, TV2 Sport his side of story. Casey criticized BWF of conducting the investigation unprofessionally, unfairly and unethically as BWF had used a testimony from him against Persson which Casey himself had withdrawn.

Casey said BWF’s investigator drafted the testimony in connection with the case and he chose to sign the written testimony BWF presented to him after their interrogation.

“During that time, I was under great pressure both with the interrogations and talking about the subject, and I felt like I was pressured to sign. Since then, I realized that there was several factually incorrect information in my statement, and since it was not written by myself, I would like to withdraw it because it was wrong.”

Therefore, on July 16, 2018, Alistair Casey wrote an email to BWF’s Integrity Unit Manager, Andy Hines-Randle, and BWF’s investigator in the case, Paul Scotney, asking if that email was enough or whether they should have him swore under oath that he would like to withdraw his testimony. He also asked if he should present that information to Joachim Persson and his lawyer.

Alistair Casey's email to BWF asking to withdraw his testimony against Joachim Persson. (photo: TV2)
Alistair Casey’s email to BWF asking to withdraw his testimony against Joachim Persson. (photo: TV2)

“It was really ugly when I tried to withdraw my testimony. Andy Hines-Randle (BWF’s Integrity Unit Manager) sent me back a long and, in my opinion, threatening mail, where I was told to cooperate and follow the rules.”

Several e-mails obtained by TV 2 showed that the BWF’s whistleblower tried to withdraw the testimony in July 2018.

BWF’s Integrity Unit Manager, Andy Hines-Randle, then replied that they were surprised and disappointed that Alistair Casey suddenly changed his mind.

A reply from BWF to TV2 stated that it was the individual witness’s obligation to ensure that the statement they sign is 100% correct and BWF was in no way tried to push witnesses, but instead calls for the testimony to reflect the questions and answers that took place between the two parties.

Alistair Casey had never played at the top level of badminton, he participated in several major tournaments where he was able to take on some of badminton’s big names such as Lee Chong Wei. He reached his highest world ranking in men’s singles at No. 62 on September, 10, 2010.

This serious allegation made against BWF also prompted people to question whether Zulfadli Zulkiffli and Tan Chun Seang were treated fairly and equally when they were handed career-ending bans of 20 and 15 years respectively after being found guilty of match-fixing on May 1st, 2018.

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