Age fraud: No ranking points for Mohali U-13 badminton meet | Badminton News

MOHALI: In a span of two weeks, two national ranking badminton tournaments have been hit by the menace of age fraud. As the Badminton Association of India (BAI) began its probe into allegations of more than 60 per cent of participants at the All-India Sub-junior U-13 ranking badminton tournament in Hyderabad being overage, the ongoing Under-13 ranking meet in Mohali is also facing the heat.
While the embers of the Hyderabad event hasn’t exactly died down, more than 60 aggrieved parents of the participants in Mohali shot a letter to the organizing secretary Tejinder Bedi, protesting the participation of overage players in the week-long tournament.
It has been learnt that of the 396 players under scrutiny, 43 out of the 232 male players and 21 out of the 164 females have been allowed to participate by mere production of medical certificates.
The letter, which is in possession of TOI, was also tagged to the BAI top brass, including BAI President and Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma, Secretary Sanjay Mishra, and Joint secretary Omar Rashid along with the age fraud committee of the national federation.
“This is a formal application to stage a protest by parents against a number of players that are overaged playing in the tournament. Kindly please note that formal complaints had already been given at Hyderabad against various players and we see that no action has been taken against these players,” read the letter, signed by more than 30 parents.
“We are all expecting that action will be taken against these fraudsters immediately,” the letter added.
On Wednesday, the organizing committee decided to strip ranking points from the meet, while assuring the parents of conducting proper medical tests of the suspected players apart from their other documents. The committee, however, decided to continue with the tournament under protest.
Organising secretary Bedi said he had immediately flagged off the concerns with the national federation after receiving complaints from the parents. He further said he did not want to be party to the menace and spoil the hard work of the honest participants and as a result wanted the tournament to progress under protest.
“There are three four ranking tournaments, which help deserving players to get the rankings and the seeding when they go for the respective age group national championships. The rankings, and seeding can be taken care of by the players with their hard work, but the priority must be on curbing age fraud. I made it clear to the BAI secretary that I can’t be a party to this menace and therefore decided to strip the rankings from the tournament,” he told TOI.
Bedi further claimed that the 10 of the major suspected players were also given an opportunity to confess, but they denied any foul play.
The protest also gathered momentum after a member of the Age Fraud Committee wrote to the top BAI office bearers alleging that close to 22 percent of the players are featuring in the tournament by producing a medical certificate.
According to the rules, a player can play for a year without submitting the authentic birth certificate after registration with the BAI if they produce a medical certificate.
When contacted, BAI secretary Mishra told TOI, “The federation is working on the issue. It is a serious matter, but at the same time we must understand that age fraud is something that cannot be changed overnight. It takes time.”
“The BAI core committee will meet in a day or two and take a call on the rankings, as the hard work of many honest players will be spoilt if the rankings are freezed,” he further stated.
Mishra also issued a warning that appropriate action will be initiated against the players found guilty, and urged them to withdraw from the tournament and come out clean.

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