New BAI rules to help end age forgery in Badminton

New BAI rules to help end age forgery in Badminton

Badminton India

Fake birth certificates and age forgery is a dirty secret in Indian sport — including probably one of the nation’s most popular sports, badminton.

However, a Times of India report says that the Badminton Association of India has planned a major crackdown on this. Their new guidelines ask state associations not to issue identity cards to players if their year of birth and year of registration is not the same.

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Getty Images

“It is mandatory that all BAI affiliated units should maintain state IDs at the state level after verifying the originial Date of Birth certificates registered in Municipal Corporation/Gram Panchayat/Department of Birth & Death registration office dated of the same year of birth. The certificates produced with a later date (not having the same year of birth) will not be entertained,” a circular from the BAI to state bodies says.

Without these IDs no player can participate in a BAI tournament.

The sport has been marred with overage controversies in recent years — the BAI banned five junior players in 2014 from participating in any junior tournament after they misrepresented their birth dates during the nationals. That year also saw the association order 16 players to take part in a higher age group than the one they were participating in.

In November of the same year, Saina Nehwal’s coach Vimal Kumar was also caught up in an age-forgery scandal when it was found out that he had allowed an over-age player to take part in an U-15 tournament.

“Medical tests too cannot give cent per cent correctness and always there is a six to nine months plus or minus variation in them. Hence, we cannot take action unless it is proved beyond doubt that age certificate and passports were obtained through false means,” Vimal Kumar had said after the allegations were made.

The Times of India article claims that the paper is in the possession of several fake birth certificates — one of them shows the year of birth as 1997 but registration of birth in 2014.

“It will be impossible now to fake the age. We have issues strict guidelines to the district associations to visit schools and municipal offices and check DOBs before issuing IDs,” the report quotes BAI secretary (tournaments) Punnaiah Choudhary as saying.

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