12th November 2021

BWF sanctions two for match-fixing

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has sanctioned Chinese players Jun Hao and Bin Rong with two year bans for conspiring to fix a 2019 mixed doubles match. On 20 March 2019, sports betting monitoring company ESSA notified the BWF that a sports betting company had identified ‘abnormal activity’ connected to three accounts. The ‘abnormal activity’ related to a mixed doubles match a day earlier between Jun and Hua Xiao Bei against Daniel Hess and Stine Küspert. The accounts were linked to Jun, Bin and another individual named Ming Liu.

The BWF alleged that the three had conspired to ensure that Jun and Hua would lose the first game of the 19 March 2019 match. The BWF charged Jun with fixing the outcome of the match, placing a bet on the match, as well as using inside information regarding the match. Bin was charged with betting on the match and events that he had participated in, using inside information, and being responsible for the offences committed by Jun. 

Betting accounts connected to all three people were involved betting on the same outcome, shortly after being opened. The BWF found all three to be ‘connected persons’ who had communicated about the outcome before the match.

The Bin account requested more than the maximum stake permitted by the operator. “The betting company was so suspicious of these bets that they blocked the bets and didn’t allow them”, said BWF investigator Paul Scotney during interviews.

Both players attempted to deny the charges. Jun attempted to claim that the account had been set up by his mother in his name. However, he travelled from Wuhan to play in a Lingshui tournament on 16 March. IP data from the betting operator showed that the account had been accessed in Wuhan on 15 March and from Lingshui on 16 March.

During interviews with the BWF, Jun denied seeing his mother in Lingshui. The BWF said that because of the IP data coupled with this denial, he was ‘forced into the bizarre position of suggesting that his mother had come to Lingshui and not seen him’.

Bin also claimed that his parents had opened an account in his name. The BWF rejected this explanation because of the evidence regarding communication between the two players about the match, and the fact that his account was used to place the same bet as Jun.

Jun was also found to have passed inside information to Ming Liu for betting purposes, however he isn’t a person covered by BWF rules. Both players were sanctioned with two year bans from 11 August 2021. 

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