In a recent bombshell interview, former world number one Taufik Hidayat revealed that a "Malaysian team manager" offered him IDR400 million (roughly RM120,000) to lose a match against Lee Chong Wei back in 2006
In the interview uploaded onto the Indonesian broadcaster Trans TV's YouTube on 21 August, Taufik alleges the incident occurred before the men's singles semi-final clash between himself and Lee Chong Wei at the Doha 2006 Asian Games.
"Top athletes get this (sic) kind of pressures, and it is important not to be swayed by such approaches," he was quoted as saying by GoSports.
The Malaysian team manager was alleged to have asked for his phone number, and when asked why he needed it, the offer to intentionally lose the match was broached.
The unidentified party then asked him how much he would receive as bonus if he brought home the Asian title for Indonesia – then a reported IDR200 million – and offered to pay him double.
Taufik immediately turned him down in disgust, saying that he was left emotionally disturbed.
"(I) asked him how much would he want for his player (Lee Chong Wei) to lose, and I will pay. I was so angry that I told him if I ever see him in Indonesia, he would never go back again," Taufik replied.
"He had the guts to ask me to sell Indonesia's name, it is the same as selling my country."
Taufik went on to beat Lee Chong Wei in straight sets, and slayed Lin Dan of China 21-15, 22-20 in the final to win the title outright.
In response, Lee Chong Wei got in touch with Taufik to clear the air.
He also said that he is not surprised at the allegations.
"All this while I never knew about it, Taufik also did not tell me about it," said Lee according to Malay Mail.
"He told me what had happened," reported New Straits Times, adding "Thankfully for people like Taufik and me, national pride always comes first. I know who the person is, but it's been so long since this took place. I believe we should all move on."
In the same interview, Lee admitted that he, too, had been approached by bookies in the past, but has always rebuffed their advances.
"I was young then. However, my country always comes first. That is why I stayed away from it."
Chong Wei went on to advise young shuttlers to never get involved with underworld dealings as it would affect their future and careers.
"Although I come from a poor family, I never thought about money. No matter how difficult life was, I always fought to get the best results," he was quoted as saying by Bernama.
The revelation follows Malaysia and Indonesia shuttlers being slapped with bans by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) recently for match-fixing
According to Free Malaysia Today, the world body meted out the punishments in January 2021 following a whistleblower report and subsequent investigation.
In the report, BWF found multiple shuttlers from Indonesia and a Malaysian official guilty of offences related to match-fixing, match manipulation, and sports betting. Three shuttlers were handed lifetime bans, while a further five were suspended for between six to 12 years for their involvement.
The Malaysian official was identified to be a representative of a sports equipment brand that sponsored multiple international players, and was also hit with a lifetime ban from the sport.
In 2018, BWF also handed out lengthy bans to two Malaysian shuttlers for the same offences, namely Tan Chun Seang and Zulfadli Zulkiffli. The smoking gun in this instance was leaked WhatsApp exchanges between them, as per Berita Harian.
The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games began yesterday with a breathtaking opening ceremony. Get acquainted with the 22 Malaysian para-athletes representing the country here: