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Badminton official banned for life, fined

Badminton's world governing body yesterday banned former council member Raj Gaya from the sport for life and hit him with a fine of US$50,000 (S$68,000) over alleged misuse of funds.

Gaya, from 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 the official 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 their probe revealed Gaya had diverted funds meant for the MBA to his personal bank account and used them "for his own benefit".

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

Gaya told officials he had used the funds for "badminton related expenses", as well as "political reasons" including "to get African people on his side", according to the report.

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 the fine - a decision upheld by the BWF yesterday.

In May, the BWF banned two Malaysian players for 15 and 20 years for betting and match-fixing offences. - AFP

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