Badminton official from Mauritius banned for life over corruption claims

Raj Gaya, a former council member of various Badminton governing bodies like the Badminton World Federation (BWF), the Badminton Confederation of Africa and the Mauritius Badminton Association (MBA) was banned by BWF on Wednesday, over alleged misuse of funds.

BWF has become strict for corruption related cases in recent years   -  Getty Images

Badminton's world governing body, Badminton World Federation, banned former council member Raj Gaya from the sport for life and hit him with a fine of $50,000 over alleged misuse of funds on Wednesday.

Gaya, a resident of Mauritius, had, since 1999, held positions with the Badminton World Federation (BWF), the Badminton Confederation of Africa and the Mauritius Badminton Association (MBA).

The BWF Ethics Hearing Panel began investigating against Gaya in June last year after former MBA president Bassir Mungroo “raised several allegations” of corruption against him, it said in a report.

The ethics panel said, its probe revealed that Gaya had diverted funds meant for the MBA to his personal bank account and used them “for his own benefit”.

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It also said that he had exaggerated or falsified expense claims, forged official documents and refused to cooperate with the investigation.

Gaya told officials that he had used funds for “badminton related expenses”, as well as “political reasons” including “to get African people on his side”.

The three-member panel chaired by Sylvia Schenk two weeks ago said, it would ban Gaya from “performing any function in badminton for life” and ordered him to pay fine - a decision upheld by the BWF on Wednesday.

In recent years, BWF has embarked on a mission to root out corruption, match-fixing and illegal gambling from the sport.

In May 2018, two Malaysian badminton players received career-ending bans for match-fixing.