India - Scheduling conflict for badminton league, boxing in turmoil and IPL 2014 corruption crackdown

Published 11 April 2014 | Authored by: Manali Kulkarni

In this weeks Indian Sport Law Blog, Manali Kulkarni provides an update on the Badminton World Federation’s regulations and the Indian Badminton League tournament; Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF); Trainer CD Katrak suspended by the Royal Western India Turf Club; N. Srinivasan status as BCCI representative in the ICC questioned; and, The Sports Ministry requests the BCCI for information on IPL-2014 tournament.

BWF’s regulations may affect participation in the upcoming Indian Badminton League tournament

The Times of India has drawn our attention to scheduling problems affecting the upcoming Indian Badminton League (“IBL”) tournament, as it transpires that the The Badminton World Federation’s (BWF’s) Player Commitment Regulations (the “Regulations”) effectively prohibit India’s two most senior players from competing.

Paragraph 1.3 of the Regulations states that:

"Failure to play in any BWF Superseries Premier, by a player committed to the BWF Superseries Premier via the BWF World ranking [i.e. the top 10]..... will be considered a breach of Competition regulations and - in addition to General Competition Regulations 31. Penalties – 31.2 Withdrawal Offence - [the player] will receive a US$ 5,000 additional penalty over and above normal withdrawal fees. In addition, BWF will have the right to consider further penalties after consideration by the Disciplinary Committee."

So, effectively, the Regulations require top 10 players to compete in all BWF Super Series Premier, else they not only incur the usual withdrawal fees, but also an additional set fine and any further penalty the Disciplinary Committee may see fit.

Consequently, when the Badminton Association of India (BAI) announced its dates for the second Indian Badminton League (IBL) tournament, from September 30 to October 15, clashing with the Denmark Super Series beginning October 14, they effectively rendered India's top players, Saina Nehwal (World no.8) and PV Sindhu (World no.9), unable to compete.

Paragraph 1.4 of the Regulations provide an exception in the case of injury, but of course that will be difficult to invoke should the player compete in a concurrent tournament.

The BAI has not made an official statement concerning the scheduling conflict, but has suggested that the players "may have to leave midway in this condition or the dates would have to be reworked." This is not the ideal schedule for the IBL tournament; however, with the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games later this year, the BAI has limited rescheduling options.

With the success of the first IBL tournament last year, the organizers have decided to "increase the number of players in the tournament (from) 11 to 13 with the maximum number of foreigners in a team raised to six" for the second edition. However, even with more players participating, it would appear that the quality and level of play in the second edition of the IBL tournament may already be compromised by the conflict.

In 2011, the Indian Premier League (IPL) faced a similar scheduling conflict with the International Cricket Council's Future Tours Programme. Here are a few related articles:

Source articles:


Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) derecognized by the Sports Ministry of India

As of on Tuesday, April 1, 2014, the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) has been derecognized by the Sports Ministry of India for "the boxing body's refusal to comply with its directives on holding a re-election," according to an Economic Times article. A statement from the Ministry read, "it has been decided to withdraw the recognition granted by Government of India to IABF." The IABF was "provisionally suspended" by the Ministry for alleged election "malpractices" on December 7, 2012, which was the day after the IABF was suspended by the International Boxing Association (AIBA). The IABF's provisional suspension took effect with the understanding that the IABF would hold "fresh elections" and write "its constitution compliant with the National Sports Code." As the IABF did not keep to its commitment to conduct new elections, or amend its constitution, the Ministry has derecognized its status as a national sports federation. (See previous blog for details on Indian boxing suspensions).

The legal status of a federation and its recognition from the International and Asian Federations, as well as the Indian Olympic Association for the Olympics, are the Sports Ministry's requirements to be a national sports federation. Thus, the IABF must conduct "fair, transparent and democratic elections" as the first step towards regaining recognized again.

In an effort to allow boxers and coaches to continue competing at an international level despite the IABF's de-recognition, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) decided to form an ad-hoc committee. The six-member committee will be headed by IOA vice-president, Tarlochan Singh, along with sports administrators, former coaches and boxers, as well as India's AIBA representative. AIBA's PR & communications director Sebastien Gillot explained to the TOI that "During the exclusion period, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) will act as AIBA counterpart and has formed an ad-hoc Committee to do the work the National Federation would do." The AIBA and IABF both "welcomed" the ad-hoc panel and its support. The IOA did clarify that this is only a "stop-gap arrangement," mainly for the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games taking place in the upcoming months.


Source articles:



Trainer CD Katrak suspended by the Royal Western India Turf Club

According to a Mumbai Mirror article, the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) suspended and fined trainer CD Katrak on April 5, 2014, after finding him guilty of "breach of medication rules of the club." Katrak was originally suspended for 45 days because of this breach, however he will be suspended for 145 days as the RWITC stewards have decided to "add the 90-day suspended sentence he was carrying since his mercy petition was accepted in 2012." In addition to the suspension, Katrak will face a Rs.10,000 fine (100 GBP).

Katrak will not appeal this decision and has asked for his sentence to be effective immediately. With this request, Katrak's suspension started on April 5, 2014, and will continue for the remainder of the Mumbai season and during the Pune season from the middle of July to October.

After winning the Municipal Commissioner's Trophy on November 24, 2013, Katrak's Montreal "tested positive for a bronchodilator, classified as a Category III drug." Montreal was disqualified because of the positive results.


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IPL Update: N. Srinivasan status as BCCI representative in the ICC questioned

According to an NDTV Sports article, Mehmood Abdi, Rajasthan Cricket Association's representative in the BCCI, argued that Srinivasan is "not eligible" to be the BCCI representative in the ICC, because the Supreme Court ruled that all India Cements employees should have no involvement with the BCCI; India Cements was Srinivasan's company, technically making Srinivasan an India Cements employee. Abdi has "filed a First Information Report (FIR) against Srinivasan alleging fixing in a IPL match featuring Chennai Super Kings, owned by the BCCI chief's company India Cements."

According to Abdi's arguments and statements the media did not correctly report on Srinivasan qualifying as BCCI representative in the ICC, as Abdi explained, " impression is being created in a section of media that Srinivasan's role as the BCCI's representative in the ICC is still intact."

It appears that Srinivasan status as representative of the BCCI in the ICC, is on the Court's agenda for the second IPL case hearing on April 16, 2014, according to the summary of the Court's first decision in a First Post article.

Source articles:



The Sports Ministry requests the BCCI for information on IPL-2014 tournament

A Zee News article explained that, as of Friday, April 4, 2014, the Sports Ministry, formally known as the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, has requested the BCCI provide information relating to its decisions to the upcoming IPL. The Ministry gave the BCCI an April 10 deadline to submit information on the asked questions, in an effort to address the corruption and spot-fixing cases from the last IPL tournament and prevent such corruption in the upcoming IPL-2014. The Sports Ministry has asked the BCCI to explain, "What mechanisms, BCCI have put in place to ensure that unethical practices like betting and match-fixing, etc. Do not take place during IPL-2014." The BCCI is also required to answer, "Why a non-regular venue has been selected for holding some matches of IPL-2014 instead of choosing a venue which is on the regular international calendar of the ICC." The Ministry also wants the BCCI to state "the amount of License fees paid to the International Cricket Council (ICC) for IPL 2014." Lastly, the Sports Ministry has now required the BCCI to contribute to the National Sports Development Fund; the percentage to be donated will be determined on the basis of the profits from IPL-2014.

Source articles:

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About the Author

Manali Kulkarni

Manali Kulkarni

Manali is the COO at LawInSport and executive contributor of the editorial board for LawInSport. She holds an LLM in Sports Law from Nottingham Law School (Nottingham Trent University).

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