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Delay due to violation of IBL rules: Jwala

Special Correspondent
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Jwala Gutta.— PHOTO: AP
Jwala Gutta.— PHOTO: AP

Having acted in haste in recommending a life-ban on G. Jwala, the Badminton Association of India (BAI) finds itself in a difficult position.

On Thursday, the Delhi High Court is due to take up Jwala’s petition seeking a directive to the BAI to allow her to participate in international events and for a stay on the proposed three-member committee taking a final decision on the proposed life ban.

Deadlock continues

With Jwala seeking the judicial route, the BAI is showing signs of softening its stand. But, the deadlock continues.

In the first week of September, Tournament Referee Girish Natu’s report was made the basis for issuing a show-cause notice to Jwala. The doubles specialist presented her case in detail and also pointed out a violation of the IBL rules.

But the six-member BAI disciplinary committee, with S. Muralidharan as chairman, chose to punish an “unapologetic” Jwala by recommending life-time ban or “six-year suspension from all badminton activities in the country.”

In Jwala’s words, the tie between Delhi Smashers and Banga Beats was “delayed owing to gross violation of the IBL rules and regulations” by the Bangalore franchisee.

“Approximately 40 minutes prior to the match, it came to our knowledge that Banga Beats had replaced Hu Yun with Jan O Jorgensen. The IBL had prescribed procedures for seeking any replacement. The change was to be intimated in writing to all the teams/franchisees well in advance with the reasons for the replacement, and only upon verifying the reasons is a replacement allowed by the governing council. The change made by Banga Beats was clearly in violation of the rules.

“Being captain of the team, the entire pressure and focus shifted on me and it was expected of me to represent my team’s interests before the owners and the governing council.

“I immediately contacted the team owners to understand (i) if they were aware of this change; (ii) if the change was approved by the governing council; (iii) has the change been made by Banga Beats in accordance with the rules and regulations of IBL; and (iv) instructions for the team on the way forward.”

Owners surprised

Jwala further stated, “The owners of my team were equally surprised by such change by Banga Beats. They said they would immediately raise the matter with the Banga Beats owners and the members of the governing council.

The delay to the start of the tie was purely owing to the time taken by the governing council and the team owners to maintain the stature of the tournament, discipline and respect to the rules.”

Eventually, the match resumed following a 30-minute delay.

Jwala concluded by saying, “It is depressing that I am being victimised; by imposing the condition of “to my own cost” in respect of my entry in the Denmark Open and French Open in October, 2013, is a punishment imposed on me without any fault of mine and without following the BAI regulations.

“Under the BAI regulations, prior to taking any action/decision, a right to make submissions and a right to be heard are must. Such premature penalisation shall have a very high adverse bearing on my career.”

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