How is it possible, in an age when athletes from a myriad of sports (the most infamous from the world of baseball, cycling and track and field – although the list goes on…) can slip by drug tests on a yearly basis, commit some sort of violent crime, or be caught with contraband and continue on with their careers, when a mere registration technicality can force out two of Canada’s top athletes from the Pan Am Games?
For Prince Rupert’s Adrian Liu and his badminton men’s doubles partner Derrick Ng, because some poor administrator within Badminton Canada’s ranks entered them in a tournament in Taipei at the same time as the Pan Am Games, instead of the correct Taipei tournament later in October, the two were booted out of the year’s most anticipated multi-sport tournament (certainly in Canada) in the blink of an eye.
Badminton Canada’s appeal fell on deaf ears and now, these two athletes’ livelihoods are in jeopardy. It’s not a hobby or a side-job when you play for the stakes that these two play for. It’s a full-time gig and it’s one they’ve worked for since the summer 2011 when the last Pan Am Games concluded in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Liu and Ng were prepared to play for gold, an expectation definitely not out of the realm of possibility considering their professional history versus the rest of the continent. Along with gold, they were prepared to rack up the points needed within Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) cumulative system to enter the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro next year.
They can’t do that now and it’s not like they can have a “make-up test” to regain what they’ve lost.
Was their transgression a malicious one? Did they have anything to gain by enrolling in two tournaments in the same week, which last I checked is physically impossible since humanity’s cloning advances haven’t yet reached its full potential?
It’s utter nonsense that the BWF would be so steadfast in its position as to make an example out of these two Canadians that even an administrative error such as this one, would take them out of a tournament of such magnitude.
The BWF needs to wake up and give its head a shake. In this case, the punishment is the travesty, not the so-called crime.