March 19 - The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has been awarded the inaugural Outstanding Achievement in Promoting Sport Integrity trophy after it disqualified four women's doubles pairs from the London 2012 Olympics for throwing matches.
In what was one of the biggest scandals to hit the Games, eight players from China, Indonesia and South Korea tried to manipulate results to improve their medal prospects and were ultimately thrown out of the tournament by the BWF, who said it had done so after accusing them of "not using one's best efforts to win" and "conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport".
The International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) and Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University awarded the prize at a ceremony here saying the badminton world governing body took a "courageous" decision to protect the sport's integrity.
BWF secretary general Thomas Lund accepted the accolade from ICSS President Mohammed Hanzab and the university's vice-president André Hervier saying he was "honoured".
"No sport wishes to have its integrity and commitment to proper ethical behaviour tested," he said.
"However, when such incidents arise, it's essential to stand firm and take appropriate action.
"The BWF would have liked to avoid the Olympic disqualifications altogether but we are confident that, as the world-governing organisation for badminton, we took the right decision."
His words were echoed by BWF President Kang Young Joong, who added: "The London 2012 case has definitely been a learning curve for the BWF and we are committed to doing what it takes to ensure this never happens again.
"Being recognised by the ICSS and the Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University today gives us further assurance that our sport upholds the right values."
The criteria for winning the prize included a demonstration of clear action in dealing with an integrity breach, speed and decisiveness of action taken and showing a clear commitment to integrity.
"It gives me enormous pleasure to present the inaugural ICSS-Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University Trophy to the Badminton World Federation for showing us all at the Olympic Games last year that courageous decisions with immediate consequences are not only necessary but highly effective in dealing with integrity challenges," Hanzab said.
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