Kuala Lumpur: Russia’s World No. 72 men’s doubles player Nikita Khakimov was banned for five years on Wednesday over offenses relating to “betting, wagering and irregular match results”.
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) said it received information from a whistleblower that Khakimov approached him and trying to pursue him to manipulate matches at the 2018 European Teams Championships.
A BWF independent panel later found Khakimov to be in breach of BWF’s integrity regulations, including approaching a player and offering money to manipulate a match, betting on badminton games, and “deliberately destroying evidence of a corruption offense to conceal from the BWF”.
The 32-year-old Khakimov was playing as Russia’s second men’s doubles pair in the 2020 European Team Championships, where Russia lost to Denmark 0-3 in the semi-final. Khakimov who was paired with Rodion Alimov would take on Mathias Boe/Mads Conrad-Petersen should the competition needed a fourth match to decide the winners. Denmark eventually won the tie by 3-0 and Russia went home with a bronze medal.
The independent panel has decided not to fine Khakimov as the ban would effectively end his main source of income and badminton career.
“As badminton was his only purported source of income, the suspension would deprive him of the possibility to earn money from his chosen profession,” said the panel.
Khakimov reached a career-high ranking of 130 in men’s singles in June 2013, and was ranked World No. 39 in men’s doubles in July 2014, also ranked World No. 180 in mixed doubles in January 2010.