Sat, 12 Aug 2000

Indarti denies allegation of badminton match fixing

JAKARTA (JP): Indonesia doubles specialist Indarti Issoliana denied an allegation of match fixing during the US$150,000 Indonesia Open at the Senayan Tennis Indoor Stadium last month.

Speaking during a break in training at the Indonesian Badminton Center in Cipayung, East Jakarta, Indarti said she was shocked to have heard that she and partner Vita Marissa were alleged to have lost to Etty Tantri and Cynthia Tuwankotta in the women's doubles and in the mixed doubles when she and Halim Heryanto lost to Tri Kusharyanto and Minarti Timur.

"I was so shocked knowing that I was suspected of intentionally having lost to my opponents in both events. I injured my right ankle before the tournament began, that's why I couldn't play well," she said. "But I don't feel guilty because I didn't do that."

Indarti claimed that she had injured her ankle several days prior to the Indonesia Open but she forced herself to compete as she had a new partner. Earlier she partnered Emma Ermawati.

"If I didn't compete in the Indonesia Open, I wouldn't know how good we were going to be in tournaments. That's why I forced myself to play. But it was really difficult for me to move backward and forward quickly."

"I managed to reach the quarterfinals because in the early rounds I met local newcomer players. We won easily."

"My injury got worse after the quarters. I told the Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI) doctor Michael Triangto about it."

"Dr. Michael suggested that I shouldn't force myself as he was afraid the injury could get worse."

Indarti's second injury was occurred last week when she landed on her ankle during practice. But this time, her fingers were also injured.

"It feels really sore. I have to cancel my plan to compete in the Malaysian Open next week due to this injury."

The International Badminton Federation (IBF) questioned PBSI on the allegation of match fixing during the Indonesia Open as complained about by England team manager Lars Sologub.

Sologub suspected the Indonesian players intentionally lost to Olympic qualifiers to so as to increase the latters' world ranking before the deadline on Aug. 31 to enable them to get easy draws at the Olympics in Sydney in September.

Vita also shared the same feeling with Indarti.

"I don't know why they accused us of intentionally losing to our opponents. She had felt the pain for quite a long time. I also still feel my right shoulder injury."

Unfortunately, Halim declined to comment on the problem.

PBSI has plans to set up a factfinding team on the allegation but none of its officials have questioned Indarti.

"I knew about the case from coach Paulus. He knew about it from the newspapers. I don't know why my injury become such a big deal." Indarti said.

PBSI secretary general Leo Chandra Wiranata had said earlier that he would not be able to answer the IBF letter within two days as requested saying that the association needed to investigate the case with related parties including the players, coaches, umpire, referee and the organization's officials. (yan)