Eight Badminton Players Disqualified after Match-Throwing Attempts

August 1, 2012

Eight women badminton players have been disqualified by the sport’s federation on Wednesday following deliberant attempts to lose at the Olympics and manipulate the draw.

They were disqualified following a formal disciplinary hearing by the Badminton World Federation, but were not expelled from the Games. It was not clear what that meant for their future participation in London.

The players involved were China’s world champions Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang, Indonesia’s Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari and two South Korean pairs – Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na, and Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung.

The four women’s doubles pairs, two of which are from South Korea, were accused of throwing Tuesday night’s matches to get a favourable position in the draw for the knock-out phase.

The South Korean and Indonesian pairs are appealing the decision.

Lord Coe, chairman of London’s organising committee, called the incident “unacceptable.” “Who wants to sit through something like that?” he added.

The audience were flabergasted by the scenes and booed the players, who included Chinese world doubles champions Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang, after the longest rally in their first game was only four strokes. The outcome of the game would determine which team they faced in the knockout rounds.

Gail Emms, a 2004 British Olympic badminton silver medallist watching the game, said it was “very embarrassing” for the sport and was not in the Olympic spirit.

Paul Deighton, the chief executive of London 2012 said spectators at the matches would not receive a refund for their tickets as they also saw other games.