The Badminton Association of India (BAI) has taken a significant step towards eradicating age fraud and falsification in registered players’ records with the introduction of the Voluntary Age Rectification Scheme (VARS).
Under the VARS, players falling under various scenarios will have the opportunity to rectify their age records before June 25, 2023.
The cases are classified as follows:
Scenario 1: - Date of Registration within 1 year of Date of Birth - Sub-Scenario: Born at an Institution (Hospital, Health facility, Nursing home, etc. - Case Type: A1
Scenario 2: - Date of Registration within 1 year of Date of Birth - Sub-Scenario: Born at House, Public Place, Hotel, Dharamshala, hostel, Moving vehicle, or any other place not covered in Case Type A1 - Case Type: A2
Scenario 3: - Date of Registration more than 1 year of Date of Birth - Sub-Scenario: Born at an Institution (Hospital, Health facility, Nursing home, etc.) - Case Type: B1
Scenario 4: - Date of Registration more than 1 year of Date of Birth - Sub-Scenario: Born at House, Public Place, Hotel, Dharamshala, hostel, Moving vehicle, or any other place not covered in Case Type B2 - Case Type: B2
Scenario 5: - Adopted - Case Type: Child C1
Scenario 6: - Foreign Born Nationals - Case Type: D1
To discourage fraudulent cases, the BAI has established penalties for proven age frauds. The Age Fraud Committee, authorised by BAI, will determine the appropriate quantum of penal action against guilty players. The recommended penal actions will be executed by the secretary of BAI.
In cases where players have discrepancies in their age records, a VARS window of 20 days has been provided from June 6-25, 2023. During this period, players can submit a written application along with all necessary documents and particulars to BAI. BAI will endeavor to process these applications within 15 days from receipt, during which time the player will not be allowed to participate in any recognised tournament. However, if BAI fails to process the application within the stipulated period, the player will be permitted to participate in tournaments until the case is resolved, provided they cooperate with the enquiry process.
For players who do not avail themselves of the VARS amnesty scheme and are subsequently found guilty of age fraud, their BAI ID will be made inactive for a period of two years. These guilty players will be banned from participating in authorised badminton tournaments across the country for two years, including local, district, state, All India, national, and international tournaments conducted by BAI and its state units.
Furthermore, parents or individuals involved in age fraud will face criminal proceedings as an FIR will be lodged against them. Players found guilty of age fraud will be stripped of any rankings, medals, prizes, or sponsorships received in the under-age category. They will only be eligible to participate in Senior (Men and Women) category tournaments after serving the two-year ban.
Additionally, players who have already availed themselves of VARS but indulge in age fraud again will face a five-year ban upon confirmation of their fraudulent activities. The BAI will publish periodical circulars to report cases of age fraud, serving as a strong deterrent to potential offenders.
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