Age fraud committee member urges BAI to take action against over-aged players in badminton tournaments all over India


Rampant age fraud practices in India are not new. This has been happening for the past two decades now. In recent years, it has steadily increased.

The peak was probably reached at the All India Sub Junior Under-13 Ranking Badminton tournament, held in Hyderabad from June 19-25.

It is alleged that nearly 50% of the total number of participants were overage which has taken the entire Indian badminton fraternity by storm. Sportskeeda broke the news a few days ago and pointed out the large-scale age fraud that is happening in the tournament taking place in Hyderabad.

Taking serious note of the proceedings at the Chetan Anand Sports Center in Hyderabad, one of the Age Fraud Committee members wrote a letter to the head of the Badminton Association of India (BAI) on Saturday.

BAI formed a seven-member committee on age fraud last month after its elections in which Himanta Biswa Sarma was re-elected president.

KK Sharma, co-secretary of BAI, is the chairman, while Surinder Mahajan, co-secretary of BAI, is the organizer of the committee.

Goa-based Sandeep Heble is a member of the new BAI Age Fraud committee and wants to tackle this threat as soon as possible.

Heble, who is also secretary of the Goa Badminton Association (GCA), transcribed the letter and annotated it to BAI President Himanta Biswa Sarma.

A copy of the letter was also sent to Secretary Sanjay Mishra, National Coach Pullela Gopichand, Age Fraud Committee Chairman KK Sharma and BAI Affiliate Member Units.

Heble also asked senior BAI officials to conduct an immediate investigation into the matter. He also called for an urgent meeting of the Age Fraud committee to deal with the matter.

Heble said if this overage issue isn’t resolved now, it will continue unabated for the rest of the season. He also pointed out that this age cheating issue is giving BAI negative publicity and showing the sport’s national governing body in a bad light.

Letter from Sandeep Heble to BAI President, Himanta Biswa Sarma

The text of the letter is given below:

This is in reference to the large-scale age cheating allegedly taking place in tournaments, organized by or under the aegis of the Badminton Association of India.

Although such age related frauds have been reported in the past and there have also been petitions and High Court orders ordering the Badminton Association of India to take appropriate action to In this regard, it is observed that these abusive practices continue unabated, without adequate measures put in place or all the rigorous measures taken to put an end to these abusive practices.

The Sub Junior (U13) All India Badminton Ranking Tournament, currently underway in Hyderabad, Telangana, is another instance where parents have complained of large-scale age fraud.

Checking the records of participating players reveals that a significant number of players participating in the under-13 category did not submit authentic birth certificates, but produced medical certificates to make them eligible to play.

As stated by the International Olympic Committee and confirmed by decisions of the Supreme Court of India on these matters, medical certificates are not a foolproof mechanism for establishing the accuracy of the date of birth.

Yet it is seen that the BAI registration process allows for the submission of such a document to allow older players to participate in tournaments – which is a very lenient and casual approach to a very serious problem of fraud and cheating on age.

The efforts of our Hon. The President, National Coach, Coaching Team and Team of Badminton Association of India over the past few years has helped popularize badminton across India and has seen Indian athletes win several laurels on the world stage, including the recent historic Thomas Cup gold medal. Sanjay Mishra ji, we now have a very modest and sincere general secretary who himself was a sportsman, national masters champion and former world champion badminton masters.

So, I am writing this with the utmost sincerity and with strong hope for the new BAI team, with the firm belief that they will tackle this problem of age cheating which has been the very bane of Indian sports. .

While sport is about honesty, integrity and fair play, ironically the current system rewards wrongdoers and penalizes law-abiding citizens and honest participants, bringing the game into disrepute.

As a result, law-abiding parents and their children become extremely discouraged and disillusioned with the whole system that allows dishonesty and cheating to prevail over truth and sincerity.

The prevalence of these age-related cheats, often with the blessing of parents, coaches and academies, further sends a very bad signal to children at a young age that cheating is a very acceptable and rewarding part of life. life. Is this the moral lesson we should give to our players, who are supposed to be the future of our country?

In view of the above, BAI is requested to take immediate notice of the various complaints lodged by parents during the Hyderabad tournament, and of the media reports which have exposed the large-scale age fraud that is taking place. produced at the current tournament, which, if left unchecked, will continue unabated for the remainder of the season.

It is requested that an immediate investigation be carried out into the matter and that an urgent meeting of the Age Fraud Committee be called to deal with the matter, which gives negative publicity to BAI and projects our wonderful organization and the badminton game in bad light.

Falsification of documents is a criminal offense under the Indian Penal Code and now is the time to take a series of stringent measures to end this menace once and for all.

I have marked a copy of all member units which I believe are necessary parties in this matter and an issue as huge as this will require all of us to be involved and fight it together.

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