CONTROVERSY: Decision sends shockwaves through tournament
Eight women badminton players were disqualified by the sport's federation from the London Games competition, the federation said yesterday, after they tried to lose matches in a bid to secure a more favourable draw.
The Badminton World Federation said in a statement that four pairs of women's doubles players from the Chinese, South Korean and Indonesian teams had been charged with "not using one's best efforts to win a match" and "conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport".
The decision knocked China's doubles world champions Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang out of the tournament along with South Korean pairs Jung Kyung Eun-Kim Ha Na and Ha Jung Eun-Kim Min Jung.
Indonesia's Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari were also expelled for their involvement in the tainted matches on Tuesday night which sparked jeers from the crowd and forced the BWF to investigate.
The South Korean and Indonesian teams have appealed the decision, the BWF said, but there was no indication of China's position. The Chinese delegation was not immediately available to comment.
The appeal process was ongoing and a final decision pending, the BWF added.
"We are hoping that the final decision will be available within the hour," BWF secretary general Thomas Lund told a news conference, where he read from a prepared statement and reporters were not allowed questions.
Spectators at the Wembley Arena shouted abuse at the players on Tuesday night as matches descended into farce, with the teams deliberately spraying shots and duffing serves into the net to concede points.
The expulsion sent shockwaves through the tournament.
"I heard the news yesterday and everyone was talking about this and all the newspapers were writing about it, so in the end it could mean that badminton is being taken off the Olympic programme in 2020," Denmark mixed doubles player Thomas Laybourn told Reuters.
"When something like this happens, it's not good publicity." Reuters