Russian Badminton Pro Khakimov Banned for Five Years

Russian badminton player Nikita Khakimov has been suspended over match-manipulation and irregularities related to wagering on the outcome of games.

Badminton World Federation Slams Khakimov with 5-Year Suspension

Nikita Khakimov, a Russian doubles badminton player, has been suspended from the Badminton World Federation (BWF) and his rights to compete in official sports competitions have been revoked following an investigation into irregularities about the player’s involvement in betting, wagering and match results.

The BWF has slapped Khakimov with a five-year ban from participating in any events related to badminton, following on a tip submitted by a whistleblower who claimed that Khakimov had approached them to assist with the manipulating of match results at the European Teams Championships back in February 2018.

An independent body commission has looked into the allegations and found Khakimov guilty of breaching the federation’s integrity regulations, and confirming that Khakimov had indeed approached a player to ask them to fix the outcome of the match to benefit from betting activities.

The player also “deliberately destroyed evidence of a corruption offence to conceal from the BWF,” the investigation reported. Khakimov was part of the Russian team attending the 2020 European Team Championships, whose team won second place in the competition.

Because of the period of the suspension, this may as well be Khakimov’s end as a badminton player, and he would not be able to generate income over the next five years from playing badminton.

Match-Fixing Remains a Pressing Issue

Match-fixing has been a pressing issue in sports, and many, including technological and sports data firm Sportradar, expect the practice to become increasingly sophisticated. Suspension of sports professionals is hardly surprisingly.

Recently, the Tennis Integrity Unit banned Bulgarian tennis player Aleksandrina Naydenova who was found guilty of 12 breaches related to match-fixing. Not all has been bad news, though, as recently the Swedish hockey team has been cleared of all suspicion of match-fixing.

Meanwhile, FIFA and Colombia have been taking measures of their own to battle match-fixing in soccer with remarkable success.

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