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3 Indonesian badminton players banned for life, 5 suspended for match fixing

Jakarta Globe - March 31, 2024

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Three Indonesian badminton players have been banned for life, and five others have been suspended for varying periods, after being found guilty of match-fixing, bribery, and/or betting by the sport's governing body.

Hendra Tandjaya, a former professional player in men's and mixed doubles from 2014 to 2017, is at the center of the scandal. He not only participated in illicit schemes himself but also offered money to his compatriots to fix their games, according to documents published recently on the Badminton World Federation (BWF) website.

Seven other Indonesian players implicated in the scandal were directly connected to Hendra's actions.

Hendra, along with his key accomplices Ivandi Danang and Androw Yunanto, has been banned from all "badminton-related activities" for life, according to the BWF's latest "barred list" issued earlier this week.

Between 2014 and 2017, Hendra solicited his playing partners and other Indonesian players to fix their matches for financial gain in BWF-sanctioned tournaments.

The match-fixing scandal spanned several tournaments, including those held in Indonesia in 2014, the Scottish Open Grand Prix (2015), the Yonex Sunrise Hong Kong Open (2016), the Macau Open (2016), the Syed Modi International Badminton Championships (2017), the Yonex Chinese Open in Taipei (2017), the US Open Grand Prix (2017), the Sky City New Zealand Open (2017), and the Yonex Sunrise Vietnam Open (2017).

Hendra's attempts to involve other players in his schemes were mainly conducted with Ivandi, who was also a doubles player. Additionally, Hendra and Ivandi engaged in betting on badminton matches, directly violating BWF rules.

Androw Yunanto, Hendra's playing partner at the time, agreed to fix the outcome of their men's doubles matches in two international tournaments in exchange for a reward. He also manipulated matches with a different partner in separate events to receive payment from Hendra.

Five other Indonesian shuttlers received suspensions for their involvement in Hendra's corrupt activities, ranging from two to eight years.

Sekartaji Putri, suspended until 2032, was found to have fixed the outcome of her mixed doubles match with Hendra in New Zealand and her women's doubles match with Mia Mawarti in the same tournament.

Aditiya Dwiantoro received payment from Hendra to fix his men's singles and men's doubles matches in Vietnam, while Agripinna Prima Rahmanto Putra took illicit payments to influence his men's doubles match also in the Vietnamese tournament.

All eight players were found guilty of match-fixing, bribery, failing to use their best efforts to win matches, and/or betting.

Hendra's misconduct came to light following a tip-off from an Indonesian female player who refused to participate in his schemes. The whistleblower's identity remains undisclosed per BWF policy.

Below is the complete list of eight Indonesian badminton players who got penalties from the BWF:

1. Hendra Tandjaya, banned for life.
2. Ivandi Danang, banned for life.
3. Androw Yunanto, banned for life.
4. Sekartaji Putri, suspended until Jan. 18, 2032.
5. Mia Mawarti, suspended until Jan. 18, 2030.
6. Fadilla Afni, suspended until Jan. 18, 2030.
7. Aditiya Dwiantoro, suspended until Jan. 18, 2027.
8. Agripinna Putra, suspended until Jan. 18, 2026.

The Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI) faced criticism for its slow response to the investigation. The association failed to promptly serve the players in question with BWF notifications of the charges against them, as required by its membership obligations.

The BWF notified the PBSI on September 27, 2019, of charges against eight Indonesian players for breaching the BWF Code of Conduct related to betting, wagering, and irregular match results. However, many of the implicated players were not served with the notices, with the PBSI citing difficulties in locating them, changes in phone numbers, and their departure from previous clubs.

Furthermore, despite being aware of the charges, the PBSI continued to enter one of the players under investigation into official tournaments.

"In January 2020, it came to the attention of the BWF that the PBSI had entered AP [Agripinna Putra] in at least four BWF-sanctioned tournaments, since being first notified of the Charge Notice and despite having knowledge of its contents," the panel said.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/3-indonesian-badminton-players-banned-for-life-5-suspended-for-match-fixin