Gamblers have been accused of sending obscene messages the way of one of Scotland’s best badminton players, with threats of rape, physical violence and even death shedding light on the ugly underbelly of badminton abuse from the sports betting community.
Kirsty Gilmour, who is the nation’s leading player at this moment in time, said she was receiving end of messages from sports bettors who had lost money as a result of her losing. Badminton abuse cases have since been brought to light, with India’s doubles stars Chirag Shetty and Sikki Reddy also admitting they had experienced the same.
Much has been made over the abuse players receive over social media, with such accounts often absent of any personal details, pictures or indicators as to who the person is behind the screen. Governments and regulators have called on platforms to implement more stringent checks before allowing users to sign up or create a new account.
The 29-year-old admitted she felt “violated” after receiving threats of violence and death following a defeat in the Swiss Open in Basel last week, and says it is more than likely someone who has little to no interest in the sport, but is looking for a quick buck.
“It’s always from an anonymous account, no picture, no followers,” she said. “My best guess is they are betting on matches and lost and they decided to take it out on me.
“It is never someone that’s watched the match and knows about badminton the sport. I am basically a random horserace to them and it’s not gone their way so they get personal.”
The Badminton World Federation signed an agreement with Stats Perform, a sports data company, in order to carefully monitor suspicious activity from betting and flag any anomalies.
Gilmour was accused of throwing her most recent match in one of the many abusive messages, which read: “11-5 then 18-15 to lose 18-21. All you want is fixing match to earn dirty money, huh?”
She admitted that had it been during a higher stakes competition such as the Commonwealth or Olympic Games, it may have had an adverse effect on her mental preparation, but laughed off any suggestions of match-fixing, arguing there would be little point in training for 25 hours a week.