Badminton Players Suspended After On-Court Brawl; Fight Video Draws Thousands Of Views
Badminton Association of Thailand President Charoen Wattanasin said Friday that "he was trying to save the country's tarnished image after an on-court brawl between former Olympics doubles partners, which he called unprecedented in the past half-century of Thai badminton," according to Jocelyn Gecker of the AP. The fight "was caught on video and has hundreds of thousands of viewers online." The footage shows Bodin Issara "lunging at his ex-partner Maneepong Jongjit and chasing him around the court, then onto a neighboring court before punching him and kicking him several times on the ground." Bodin, who needed two stitches, said that Maneepong "hit him with a racket." Prior to the blows, "the pair had already received a warning from the referee for a verbal exchange" (AP, 7/26). In Bangkok, Kittipong Thongsombat wrote the BAT has suspended Issara for two years and Jongjit "for three months for their on-court brawl in the men's doubles final at the Canada Open last Sunday" (BANGKOK POST, 7/28).