The Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld Nikita Khakimov's appeal ©Getty Images

Russian badminton player Nikita Khakimov has had a five-year match-fixing ban overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Khakimov was banned by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) in November 2020, accused of match-fixing and betting offences which centred on the 2018 European Teams Championship in Kazan.

However, the CAS has now ruled that there was "insufficient evidence to prove that the alleged misconduct had occurred", and therefore upheld Khakimov's appeal.

It means the athlete, now 33, is free to return to competition.

When the original BWF sanction was imposed, it had been claimed by a whistleblower that they had discussed manipulating results with Khakimov on Facebook

Khakimov always denied the charges and claimed in his original defence that a colleague had taken his phone to send the messages in question.

A doubles specialist, Khakimov was in the Russian bronze medal-winning team at the 2020 European Men's Team Badminton Championship.

Other notable achievements include men's doubles titles at he 2015 Finnish International and 2019 White Nights tournament in Russian town Gatchina.

The CAS hearing was held via videolink in April.