Two Malaysian badminton players have been handed career-ending bans after being found guilty of corruption and match-fixing. The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) says it's a "sad and shocking day" for the sport.
Two Malaysian badminton players have been banned from the sport after being found guilty of match-fixing, effectively ending their careers.
Former world junior champion Zulfadli Zulkiffli, 25, pictured, has been banned for 20 years and fined $25,000, while Tan Chun Seang, 31, received a 15-year ban and was fined $15,000, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) announced on Wednesday.
The pair were found to have breached the BWF code of conduct relating to "betting, wagering and irregular match results," according to a statement from the governing body.
In a series of hearings conducted in Singapore in February, a BWF ethics panel found that both players had "engaged in corruption offences over a significant period and a significant number of tournaments" dating as far back as 2013.
It was proven that Zulfadli, who committed more offenses over a longer period, had clearly manipulated the results of four matches.
Tan, who was part of the Malaysian team at the prestigious Thomas Cup in 2010, had already been banned from competing in Asian tournaments after quitting the national team in 2011.
"To know that a sport so close to our hearts has been tainted by match-fixing makes it a sad and shocking day for Malaysian badminton," said Norza Zakaria, the president of the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM).
"BAM has a zero tolerance policy towards match-fixing," he said, adding that the punishments handed down by the BWF were "reasonable and appropriate."
Zakaria also said that programs would be organized for those involved in the sport to counter such activities in future, while BAM will also present a report on the incident to Malaysian anti-corruption authorities, who will consider whether to take further action.