Badminton World Federation (BWF) has unveiled the first five Integrity Ambassadors for their “i am badminton” programme.
Japan’s Olympic women’s doubles champions Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takanashi, who were last night jointly named Female Player of the Year, were appointed.
They are joined by Danish stars Viktor Axelsen and Christinna Pedersen, as well as Indian star Saina Newhal, who is a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes’ Commission.
“The campaign seeks to underline our commitment to clean, fair and honourable sport,” said Gustavo Delgado, BWF deputy-president.
“We want to assure that from an early age, our athletes understand how they should conduct themselves but more critically, why they should avoid any misconduct which could jeopardise their and badminton’s integrity.
“We want to protect our clean athletes and protect our sport.”
The programme was first launched at the 2015 BWF World Junior Championships, with the initiative aimed at addressing various threats such as doping, match fixing, illegal betting and corruption.
It is claimed the ambassadors were selected from across the sport’s international spectrum and will represent the campaign’s values and serve as role models for the badminton world.
The BWF are encouraging athletes to state “i am clean, i am honest, i am badminton” as part of the campaign.
“It is great to have the support of our players, that they want to step forward and become the faces and get the message out that this is extremely important," said Thomas Lund, BWF secretary general.
“Both for themselves and their colleagues, but also for the young generation.
“The main thing is we are using these players in many different types of imaging, we hope they will also go out and promote this idea.
“Saina has recently become part of the IOC Athletes Commission and she has a central part of the community.
“It is great to have them on board and come out, as when players speak to players it is stronger.”
The ambassadors were announced on the eve of the Dubai World Superseries Finals, with the season ending event featuring the top eight players in men's and women's singles, as well as the best men's, women's and mixed doubles pairings.
Competition is set to take place here across five days, with the finals scheduled to be held on Sunday (December 18).