The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has banned two Chinese players for two years for spot-fixing and betting offences.
Regional shuttlers Zhu Jun Hao and Zhang Bin Rong were found to have both breached the BWF Code of Conduct during tournaments in March 2019.
Zhu agreed to lose the first game of a doubles match and both players bet on the outcome.
His pairing went on to win the next two games to win the match 19-21, 21-14, 21-11.
A third person named Ming Liu also wagered on Zhu losing the opening game, and betting accounts were created shortly before the contest.
“BWF finds that those three accounts bet on the same specific outcome, so shortly after having been opened is of itself remarkable,” the governing body said in its reasoned decision.
It said the “coincidence” had been explained by its investigation which found the men were responsible for the accounts.
Zhang was also found to have bet on badminton events, including some where he was playing.
The BWF had been alerted to suspicious activity by the European Sport Security Association – now known as the International Betting Integrity Association.
Zhu told the investigation that the betting account belonged to his parents, and that the address and phone number attached was his mother’s.
He could give “no explanation as to why his mother might open a betting account in his name”, the reasoned decision says, and “suggested he had left his bank card at her address”.
Data from the betting company showed the account was accessed in Lingshui on March 16, where Zhu was playing a tournament.
He said he had not seen his mother that day so was “forced into the bizarre position of suggesting his mother had come to Lingshui and not seen him”.
Zhang’s explanation for his bet was observing Zhu’s training but the BWF said this was “fanciful”.
The players’ two-year bans began on August 13.
Both have opted not to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.