The Badminton Association of India’s (BAI) disciplinary committee has recommended a life ban, or a suspension for a period of time, on doubles specialist Jwala Gutta, according to well-placed sources on Saturday.
Reason: Jwala had tried to stop players from her franchise, the Delhi Smashers, from playing their tie against Banga Beats during the Indian Badminton League (IBL) in August. The Smashers had threatened to pull out over Banga Beats’ last-minute replacement of Hu Yun with Jan O Jorgensen. Jwala was served a 14-day showcause notice by BAI for her conduct during the tie, which was delayed by half an hour. “The recommendation has been circulated to the member associations but no decision has been taken as of now. It has not been implemented,” said a BAI official.
According to S Muralidharan, chairman of the disciplinary committee, it (the ban) depends on the discretion of president Akhilesh Das Gupta. “It is the discretion of the BAI president. Jwala can be set free if she tenders an unconditional apology. She should be apologetic for what has happened,” said Muralidharan.
It is learnt that the decision to punish Jwala was taken a few days back as an apology was not forthcoming from the doubles star. Repeated calls to Jwala went unanswered. The source also said that the BAI president would write to her and she would be given a week’s time to respond.
“If her explanation is found valid, she might not be punished,” the source said.
Jwala and Ashwini Ponnappa are scheduled to compete in the Denmark Open this month.