October 25 – A two year suspension handed out earlier this year to the Thailand badminton player Bodin Issara has been upheld by a Badminton World Federation (BWF) appeals panel.
Issara was competing in the men’s doubles final at July’s Canada Open when he was involved in a bizarre altercation with opponent and fellow Thai Maneepong Jongjit – the same player with whom he had reached the quarter-finals of London 2012.
Following a warning from the referee for a verbal altercation earlier in the match, Issara chased Jongjit onto a neighbouring court during a change in ends,before tackling him to the ground and viciously punching him several times to leave him needing two stitches.
Issara was pulled off his former teammate and held down by staff as Jongjit was escorted – now shirtless – off court.
Following an investigation by the BWF and the Badminton Association of Thailand (BAT), Issara was found to be the main aggressor and was handed a two-year ban from the sport.
He had breached a number of sections of the BWF Players’ Code of Conduct regarding inappropriate conduct, oral abuse, physical abuse, unsportsmanlike conduct, and conduct contrary to the integrity of the game, it was found.
All of this, as well as the two-year punishment, Issara was challenging at his appeal.
But the appeals panel, which constituted of one person selected by the BWF, one by the player and a chairman chosen by the other two members of the panel, upheld the original ruling.
After dismissing all aspects of the appeal, they confirmed he is ineligible to compete in all tournaments sanctioned by the BWF for a two year period beginning on July 21.
In accordance with the BWF Judicial Procedures, the player has also forfeited his appeal deposit of $500 (£308/€362)
Issara also lost the world-ranking points and prize money earned from the Canada Open, with the 22-year-old not challenging those aspects of the original ruling.
His opponent Jongjit received a shorter three-month ban for three breaches of the BWF Players’ Code of Conduct.
He did not appeal and has returned to competition at this week’s French Open after serving this suspension.