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Badminton Association of India scam shows sports administration in India in poor light

With office-bearers of the BAI being exposed for fraudulently, the rot in sports administration is now there for all to see.

Badminton Association of India, BIA, CBI enquiry, CBI enquiry on BIA, Delhi Capital Badminton Association, badminton
With office-bearers of the BAI being exposed for fraudulently, the rot in sports administration is now there for all to see. (Source: Reuters)

With office-bearers of the Badminton Association of India (BAI) being exposed for fraudulently sending their kin for a junket for which only players were eligible, the rot in sports administration is now there for all to see. As per The Times of India, a CBI enquiry has exposed that these worthies, along with the office-bearers of the Delhi Capital Badminton Association, sent their own wards instead of badminton players on a junket to Japan in 2014.

While only shuttlers who had played state- or regional-level tournaments were eligible, the office-bearers’ wards had never played in any such tournament. BAI—the association’s president, a former Rajya Sabha MP and vice-president of Indian Olympic Association (IOA), had sent his daughter on the junket—has claimed that it was an educational tour and there was no specific condition that only players could be sent.

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This is not the first time that sports associations in the country are mired in unseemly scandals. Last year, the Indian Olymic Association had elected CWG scam-tainted Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Chautala as life-presidents. The government may not have much muscle to cleanse BAI, given that the latter derives its powers from Badminton World Federation—very often, global sports federations view government action as interference and suspend or revoke affiliation thereby jeopardising players’ futures.

However, it can always order a course correction at BAI by making funds conditional. Till sports associations are not cleansed, the future of sports in India remains under a cloud.

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