BAI age-fraud panel to step in


The Karnataka Badminton Association, on Thursday, affirmed that the over age issue that cropped up on Wednesday at the Indian Gymkhana Club State ranking badminton tournament has been referred to the Badminton Association of India who in-turn have asked their Age Fraud Committee to look into the matter.

It was reported that three players Chiranjeevi Reddy, Suhas V and Naren S Iyer pulled out of the boys’ under-15 semifinal of the tournament, alleging that top seed Saneeth Dayanand has committed age fraud by submitting a fake birth certificate.

Suhas’ father Venkatesh H said the documents he was in possession of clearly stated that Saneeth’s date of birth was 12th December 2002, which was later changed to 12th January 2003 thereby giving him an advantage in terms of age category.

For example, if his date of birth was 12th of December 2002, he would have had to play in the under-17 category rather than under-15. “It clearly hands him an extra year playing in the under-15 category and that is unfair to players like my son and others who put in so much effort but can’t see the results,” rued Venkatesh.

KBA’s chairman of Badminton Development Committee NC Sudhir said as soon as he came to know the situation, it was immediately referred to the BAI as to what course of action should be taken since this was the first time players had pulled out in protest. “The KBA is completely against age fraud and we will ensure that the right steps are taken to curb it,” he added.
Anup Narang, Secretary of BAI, confessed that while it is an issue that needed to be looked into, it is almost impossible for the National body to look into State-level tournaments and that these issues must be handled by the chief referee and State unit.

“It is the KBA that should ideally look into such matters with the assisstance of the chief referee as it is hard for the BAI to scrutinise every local tournament. “That being said, the Age Fraud Committee will decided on what needs to be done since a protest was raised.”

KBA sources revealed that Saneeth was banned a couple of years ago because there were two birth certificates produced in his name. The matter, though, was subsequently resolved after a High Court affidavit stating his date of birth as 12 January 2003 was furnished to the State organisation in 2015.

Verdict on players

On being questioned about whether the withdrawn players will be reprimanded Sudhir was critical and said that it reflected badly on the Association.

“We are probably the State Association that has maximum number of tournaments across the country and something like this doesn’t look good and affects our sponsors as well.

“Any decision on whether the players need to be punished will be in accordance with what the BAI directs us to do.

“They are the topmost authority for badminton in the country, so we will do exactly as they say. If they ask us to ban a player, we will do it without any hesitation,” he remarked.

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