Eight badminton players charged with match-fixing have been disqualified from the London 2012 Olympics. Two pairs from South Korea and one each from China and Indonesia made a series of basic errors in Tuesday's matches, leading officials to believe that they were "not using one's best efforts to win."
Eight players from three teams were thrown out from the women's doubles badminton competition after trying to lose matches to receive a more favorable place in the tournament. The players were ousted after an inquiry was held by the Badminton World Federation in London on Wednesday morning.
The ousted pairs are Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang (China), Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari (Indonesia), Jung Kyung Eun and Kim Ha Na (South Korea) and Ha Jung Eun and Kim Min Jung (South Korea).
According to reports, the players served out of court and didn't even pretend to try playing the game. Spectators booed and jeered at the players and some also demanded refunds. At one point, the referee went down to warn the players, threatening them with disqualification.
Before the disqualification verdict was released, South Korea coach Sung Han-kook told reporters, "The Chinese started this. They did it first."
However, Yu Yang said the Chinese were trying to preserve energy ahead of the knockout stages.
"This is the first time we've played them and tomorrow it's the knockout rounds, so we've already qualified and we wanted to have more energy for the knockout rounds," she said.
"The pairs have 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 Badminton World Federation said in a statement.
A Chinese team official spoke to the state news agency Xinhua, saying, "The Chinese sports delegation take the incident in the women's badminton doubles very seriously."
"After the delegation's leadership learnt about it, they immediately tasked the relevant people with an investigation. The Chinese Olympic Committee has always advocated the fostering of the Olympic spirit on the playing field as well as the spirit of fair and just competition. China opposes any behavior or acts which contravene this spirit or sports morality for any reason or in any form," the official added.
A South Korean appeal was rejected by the Badminton World Federation, while Indonesia withdrew an appeal.