The Badminton World Federation has held a two-day workshop in Kuala Lumpur as part of work with its membership to strengthen national integrity programmes ©BWF

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has held a two-day workshop in Kuala Lumpur as part of work with its membership to strengthen national integrity programmes.

The world-governing body brought together secretary generals and Council members from the badminton associations of India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand to share information and knowledge on four key pillars related to integrity - rules system, education and awareness, monitoring and investigations, and judicial processes.

This BWF pilot project examined the current national structures around safeguarding the integrity of badminton and how to build capacity in that area and fortify the sport against corruption.

The four BWF member associations shared common issues and considered the next steps in their respective integrity programmes.

Among the topics addressed by the BWF Integrity Unit were roles and responsibilities for integrity, BWF ethics regulations, national badminton rules frameworks, and external rules systems and compliance.

Also addressed were values-based education, the sports betting industry, betting monitoring companies, information gathering and judicial bodies.

The sessions included a joint presentation from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), whose "recognise, reject, report" theme addressed the importance of athletes recognising approaches, knowing what to do and how to reject them, and ensuring they report them. 

The IOC/INTERPOL session looked at the roles and responsibilities of the two organisations as well as links between crime and sport, approaches to athletes, and key steps for national badminton federations in the fight against corruption.

"This is an important and positive step in engaging our members on key subjects related to the integrity of badminton," BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer said.

"We are in good shape at an international level so now we want to focus on national programmes and strengthen our members' capacity to handle this complex matter.

"We will evaluate how these two days have gone and get feedback from all involved as we move forward in developing comprehensive guidelines for national integrity programmes and rolling this out to a broader membership of national badminton associations."

Thanking the IOC and INTERPOL for their valuable contribution, Høyer disclosed that participants from the four BWF member associations will also be attending an IOC/INTERPOL Integrity in Sport multi-stakeholder workshop in Malaysia, following the BWF meeting.

The one-day gathering is part of ongoing efforts to help countries address the new criminal challenge posed by competition manipulation and other threats to the integrity of sport.

Zulfadli Zulkiffli was one of two Malaysian players given career-ending bans by the BWF in May ©Getty Images
Zulfadli Zulkiffli was one of two Malaysian players given career-ending bans by the BWF in May ©Getty Images

The Integrity in Sport multi-stakeholder workshops are organised around the world to foster collaboration between law enforcement, National Olympic Committees and national sports federations, public authorities, the betting industry, and other actors involved in preventing the infiltration of crime into sport, particularly as related to competition manipulation.

In May, former world junior champion Zulfadli Zulkiffli of Malaysia and compatriot Tan Chun Seang were given career-ending bans for match-fixing after an independent BWF panel found they had engaged in corruption.

Zulkiffli, 25, and his 32-year-old team-mate were banned from the sport for 20 and 15 years respectively.

The independent panel said the pair had committed multiple breaches of the BWF's code of conduct in relation to betting, wagering and irregular match results over a "significant period and a significant number of tournaments" from 2013 onwards.

Zulkiffli, crowned world junior champion back in 2011, was found to have manipulated the results of four matches.

The Malaysian player committed a total of 31 violations of the code of conduct between 2013 and 2016.

He was also fined $25,000 (£19,000/€22,000).

Tan, who quit the Malaysian national team in 2011 and was subsequently banned for playing for any Asian country for two years, violated the code on 26 occasions.

He was given a fine totalling $15,000 (£11,000/€13,000).

Their suspensions were backdated to January 12, the day they were provisionally suspended by the BWF.

The development came after the BWF signed a partnership with Genius Sports to protect their competitions from the threat of match-fixing earlier this year.

Badminton hit the headlines when a match-fixing scandal occurred at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, where two sets of players tried to lose a match on purpose in order to draw supposedly easier opponents in the next round.

Additionally, a match-fixing attempt was thwarted at the BWF New Zealand Open last year.