(Reuters) – Russian Nikita Khakimov’s five-year ban from all badminton-related activities on charges of betting and match-fixing has been overturned following a successful appeal, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said on Monday.
Khakimov, 33, was suspended by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) in December last year after being found guilty of offences relating to “betting, wagering and irregular match results”.
The BWF opened an investigation against Khakimov after obtaining a statement from a whistleblower, who claimed the shuttler had approached him to manipulate match results at the European Teams Championships held in February 2018.
“The Challenged Decision has been set aside and Nikita Khakimov is eligible to participate in badminton related-activities with immediate effect,” CAS said in a statement.
“After having carefully considered all of the evidence produced and the submissions made by the parties, the CAS Panel found, in contrast to the Challenged Decision, that there was insufficient evidence to prove that the alleged misconduct had occurred, and therefore, due to the lack of concrete evidence, Nikita Khakimov should not be sanctioned.”
Khakimov was part of the Russia men’s team that won bronze at the 2020 European Team Championships.
(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)