World champion and Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu and world no 11 Canada’s Michelle Li have been nominated as athlete ambassadors for International Olympic Committee’s ‘Believe in Sports’ campaign, the Badminton World Federation said on Monday. The pair have been global ambassadors for BWF’s ‘i am badminton’ campaign since April last year.
“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. Together we are stronger,” Sindhu said in a release. Lavishing praise on Sindhu, Badminton Association of India (BAI) general secretary Ajay Singhania said: “This is a recognition of her sincerity, fair-play and integrity towards the game she has dedicated and played through her sporting years.
“We at BAI are extremely delighted and proud to see this champion athlete is chosen for this coveted honour at the world stage.” In badminton, manipulation or match fixing, includes influencing the course or the result of a badminton match in order to obtain an advantage for the individual or others. “We all want to be on the same start line. It’s so important to be fair as that’s a true representation of what your ability is,” said 2014 Commonwealth Games champion Li.
As part of the campaign, Sindhu and Li will be engaging with the badminton athlete community through online webinars and social media messages to highlight the risks involved and educate them on how best to safeguard and protect themselves in light of opportunities to manipulate their competition. “Competition manipulation has become an increasingly global concern and protecting honest players is a top priority for the BWF,” BWF secretary general Thomas Lund said.
“with the IOC in nominating two of our most popular players, Pusarla (Sindhu) and Li as ambassadors, we believe we can have a positive impact in the fight to protect integrity in sport.” The campaign was launched in 2018 to raise awareness among athletes, coaches and officials about the threat of competition manipulation.