US Olympic chiefs to strip USA Badminton of governing status

United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee chief executive Sarah Hirshland said the organisation had begun the formal process to decertify USA Badminton.

US Olympic and Paralympic Committee chief executive Sarah Hirshland said the organisation had begun the formal process to decertify USA Badminton. (representative image)   -  AP

United States Olympic chiefs on Tuesday moved to strip USA Badminton of its governing body status after it failed to implement a range of reforms recommended in a 2018 audit.

United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee chief executive Sarah Hirshland said in a statement the organisation had begun the formal process required to decertify USA Badminton.

“We have set high standards in order to associate with the Olympic and Paralympic movements in the United States, and we must hold organizations accountable when they don’t live up to those standards,” Hirshland said.

“Seeking to revoke recognition is not a decision that the USOPC came to easily, but we believe it is the right and necessary action in the interest of the athletes we all serve.”

The USOPC had demanded action after a 2018 audit of USA Badminton raised concerns in several areas including athlete safety, financial and accounting practices and general governance.

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In an open letter to members of the US badminton community released on Tuesday, Hirshland said several of the issues raised in the 2018 audit had not been adequately resolved.

“We have attempted to work with USAB’s leadership over the course of the last year to address our concerns, however those efforts have not yielded the results necessary to give me confidence in USAB’s ability to continue to serve its athletes as an NGB (national governing body),” Hirshland wrote.

“We remain committed to working with USAB’s leadership to address our concerns but have so far not found a willing partner.”

The decertification process -- known as Section 8 proceedings -- will see USOPC select an independent three-person panel which will review the case and hear evidence from both sides before deciding a course of action.

Hirshland did not give a time frame for the proceedings, stating only that it could be several weeks or “a few months.” The USOPC’s moves to improve governance of different sports follows the scandal which embroiled USA Gymnastics following revelations of sexual abuse by former USA team doctor Larry Nassar.

The USOPC has already sought to decertify USA Gymnastics as the sport’s governing body following the scandal.