Police to investigate badminton match-fixing claims

Hans Kristian Vittinghus is one of two players claiming to have been approached during June's Japan Open to fix matches

Kuala Lumpur: The Badminton World Federation (BWF) confirmed on Monday that it has reported the badminton match-fixing to police and would be co-operating in an on-going investigation.Hans Kristian Vittinghus is one of two players claiming to have been approached during June's Japan Open to fix matches

Two Denmark players, Hans Kristian Vittinghus, world number nine, and Kim Astrup, who with his doubles partner is ranked 22nd, are the players who say they were approached by a person of interest at the Japan Open in June to fix matches.

Both players “declined to get involved in match-fixing”, said the BWF, who handed the probe over to police because the person “soliciting the players’ involvement is a person outside the badminton community”.

Vittinghus rejected the offer immediately, reported it to the BWF and asked the organization to open an investigation.

Astrup, however, decided to glean more information, asking the alleged match fixer questions before rejecting the offer. Astrup was then offered in the region of 3,000 euros per match and was told he could earn even more if he bet on his own matches. The player then reported the details to the BWF.

“BWF is very satisfied that the players who were contacted about the match-fixing offer completely rejected it and also reported the case through the BWF ‘Whistle Blower’ system that has been set up precisely to handle such incidents,” said BWF president, Poul-Erik Hoyer Larsen, on Monday.

Hoyer added: “While BWF does not think it is advantageous for the resolution of this case that details have been publicized, we do view this as an opportunity to highlight even further to the badminton community that they must be aware of threats from external criminal sources.

Astrup also said the man of interest also told him that he had also fixed matches in the Thomas Cup and Singapore Open, two of badminton’s biggest tournaments.

“If the Thomas Cup is fixed, we are talking about one of the biggest tournaments in our sport being manipulated. We have to deal with it, because if it can happen here, it can happen everywhere,” said Astrup.

The Kuala Lumpur-based BWF said they had informed the “appropriate police authorities”, believed to be in Malaysia, of what they had been told, lodged a report and handed over related documents.


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