Badminton Life

Disgraced New Zealand Player Spared Life Ban

New Zealand badminton player Duncan Finlayson has avoided being further punished by his country's governing body over an indecent assault charge that occurred two years ago.

Because of a loophole in Badminton New Zealand's (BNA) rules, the Southlands player, who was sentenced to five months of home detention in May, will be spared extra sanctions.

According to the Southlands Times, Finlayson was discovered in a room of the victim, who was taken there because she was too inebriated following a team drinking session. She was deemed to be not in control of her body.

At one time, BNA was talking about a possible life ban. However, because the disciplinary process was not started with 21 days of the incident, Finlayson cannot be punished any further.

Also in the firing line is Finlayson's mother Barbara, who is also the Southlands team manager.

BNA chief executive Mike Kernaghan described the incident as "deeply disappointing", according to the Times and also criticised Barbara Finlayson.

The reason the incident has come up two years afterwards is because of Finlayson's home detention sentence by the state authorities.

Said Kernaghan: "Whilst no one condones it, the challenge we've got is our rules don't permit it to occur because of a timing thing. If we are to put in place and follow our disciplinary code we are required to start the process within 21 days of the alleged incident.

"Given that the incident was nearly two years ago we've got no way of proceeding with that."

Finlayson is now reported to be studying at Canterbury University in Christchurch and is no longer involved in badminton.

Kernaghan said there are lessons to be learned from the scandal and that the body may have to re-look the 21-day rule.

He said it would be up to the Southlands governing body for badminton on whether or not Finlayson would be eligible to play badminton again.

Finlayson was considered a talented provincial player who may have made it to the national team before the incident.

New Zealand's leading men's singles player is currently John Moody, who is ranked 52nd in the world. Then there is a big gap before we find the next-highest Kiwi player, Joe Wu, who is ranked 150.

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