Badminton federation suspends membership of SportAccord

Published May. 25, 2015 5:09 a.m. ET

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) The Badminton World Federation has joined a long list of Olympic sports suspending its membership of SportAccord.

The BWF said in a statement Monday that its president, Poul-Erik Hoyer, had written to SportAccord president Marius Vizer to convey the decision which was based on the federation's disagreement with Vizer's comments about the International Olympic Committee and President Thomas Bach in Sochi, Russia last month.

The BWF said its letter to Vizer noted that recent statements by him ''clearly show that BWF is not aligned with the opinions and vision of SportAccord and you as the President of the organization.''

Vizer, who also heads the international judo federation, has been left increasingly isolated since sharply criticizing the IOC and Bach in his opening speech at the SportAccord convention in Sochi. Among other things, Vizer called the IOC system ''expired, outdated, wrong, unfair and not at all transparent'' and said Bach's ''Olympic Agenda 2020'' reform program was of little use to the federations.

The Olympic backlash against Vizer has widened in recent days, with Peruvian organizers pulling out of hosting one of his showcase multi-sports events.

The Peruvian Olympic Committee notified Vizer it was withdrawing as host of the 2017 World Combat Games, which are owned and overseen by SportAccord, which represents Olympic and non-Olympic federations. The 10-day event had been scheduled to be held in Lima and feature 16 combat and martial sports.

The decision follows the withdrawal of several Olympic sports from the combat games, including boxing, wrestling, taekwondo and weightlifting. They broke or suspended ties with SportAccord after Vizer blasted Bach and the International Olympic Committee in a speech in Sochi, Russia, last month.


International basketball federation FIBA suspended its membership in SportAccord, spokesman Patrick Koller told the Associated Press on Sunday, following similar moves by the bulk of Olympic sports.

Vizer sent Bach a letter last week proposing a meeting to clear the air. He sent Bach a 20-point ''reform agenda'' that, among other things, calls for the introduction of prize money in the Olympics.

Franceso Ritti Bitti, head of the association of summer Olympic sports, told Vizer in a sharply-worded letter Friday to stop speaking on behalf of the federations, saying he does not represent their views and has shown a ''lack of understanding'' of the Olympic movement.