PV Sindhu, Michelle Li named ambassadors for IOC’s ‘Believe in Sport’ campaign

The two athletes will work with the International Olympic Committee and Badminton World Federation to raise awareness about match-fixing among shuttlers.

By Aarish Ansari

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has nominated Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu and Canada’s Michelle Li as athlete ambassadors for the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) ‘Believe in Sport’ campaign.

The campaign is aimed at preventing match fixing and manipulation of badminton matches, for which PV Sindhu and Michelle Li will be working alongside other athlete ambassadors from around the world to raise awareness amongst players and their teams.

“It is an honour to be nominated by the IOC as an ambassador. I stand alongside my fellow athletes in the fight against any form of cheating or competition manipulation,” world champion PV Sindhu said.

In the lead-up to the Tokyo Olympics in July, the two badminton stars will be engaging digitally with other athletes of the sport through online webinars and social media messages.

PV Sindhu and Michelle Li will highlight the risks involved and educate badminton players on safeguarding and protecting themselves in light of opportunities to manipulate their competition.

“Match fixing, match manipulation and doping are contrary to the spirit of sport,” PV Sindhu tweeted.

Match manipulation in badminton includes influencing the result of a match by deliberately losing to face an easier opponent in the next round in group play or to make money through betting. Bribing your opponent to lose a match also amounts to match fixing.

“Competition manipulation has become an increasingly global concern and protecting honest players is a top priority for the BWF,” said Thomas Lund, general secretary of BWF.

“By joining forces with the IOC in nominating two of our most popular players, Sindhu and Li as ambassadors, we believe we can have a positive impact in the fight to protect integrity in sport.”

The BWF urges players, coaches and other people involved in badminton to report any suspicious behaviour that could lead to a breach of rules.