** This NEW SHUTTLENWS report is presented by YANG YANG Badminton Products and their Western USA agents Badminton Alley. Keep NEW SHUTTLENWS going - BUY our sponsor's products. **


October 24, 1998 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - The sport of badminton, already suffering from the economic problems facing the sport's heartland of Asia, was hit by steroid use and player misbehaviour scandals early this week.

On Tuesday, October 20, the International Badminton Federation announced that Sigit Budiarto of Indonesia, half of the world men's doubles champion pair of Wijaya and Budiarto, had tested positive for nandrolone, a steroid on the list of substances banned by the International Olympic Committee. The positive result came from the first of two samples taken from Budiarto after he and Wijaya had won the Singapore Open championship in mid-August.

As is the standard practice, the second sample will be tested in the presence of representatives from the Indonesian badminton association and Budiarto.

If the second sample also tests positive, the international federation will hold a disciplinary hearing to decide on a suspension for Budiarto.

The federation made the announcement in an unusual move, because the positive test results had already become widely known outside the federation and the Indonesian association. Positive test results are usually made public only after both samples had been tested and found positive.

If the second sample tests positive, Budiarto will probably be suspended for at least two years. This will knock him out of the 1999 world championships and the 2000 Olympic Games.

Budiarto will also probably lose a two-year International Olympic Committee training grant worth 1,200 US dollars a month. He was recently awarded the funding in September under the Olympic solidarity program.

Earlier in the week, on Monday, October 19, two English badminton players were penalized by the Badminton Association of England for damaging a utility closet in a hotel bar washroom in the Netherlands during the Dutch Open badminton championships two weeks ago. Peter Knowles was suspended until the end of the year from the English team and had his funding from the association cut off during the suspension period.

Colin Haughton was suspended until the end of November. He will also lose his funding while he is suspended.

Knowles and Haughton were having a few drinks in a bar at the hotel where the players were staying. They took a washroom break and opened a utility closet from where they took brooms and other items to play a cricket game of sorts. Cleaning supplies were spilled and scattered in the washroom.

The hotel management complained to the Dutch tournament organizers who then notified the English team manager. Haughton then came back down to the washroom and cleaned up the mess. He also apologized to the hotel staff.

According to a spokesperson for the English association, the two players had been drinking but were not excessively drunk. However, the association did not approve of such conduct and penalized Knowles and Haughton.

Haughton was meted a lighter suspension because he had tried to clean up the washroom after the hotel management had complained.