8 Badminton Stars Booted for Playing to Lose

Women's doubles matches descend into farce

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 1, 2012 4:02 AM CDT | Updated Aug 1, 2012 7:54 AM CDT

(Newser) – Eight badminton players have been booted from the Games after being charged under the Olympics code of conduct with "not using their best efforts to win a match," reports the Telegraph. Players in the two women's doubles badminton matches were booed yesterday after what witnesses described as a shameless effort to play to lose. China's world champion doubles pair Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli and their South Korean opponents appeared to make deliberate errors to concede points, as did another South Korean team and their Indonesian opponents, reports Reuters.

All the teams involved had already qualified for today's quarter-finals, and authorities believe the Korean and Chinese pairs were trying to avoid playing their compatriots in the next round, while the Indonesians were trying to dodge the Chinese. The Chinese players said they were merely trying to conserve energy for the next round, but South Korea's head coach admitted the pairs were playing to lose. "The Chinese started this. They did it first," he told reporters. The Badminton World Federation made the decision following a morning meeting; it's unclear how today's matches will be reorganized.

Officials warned the pairs that they would be disqualified if they didn't start playing to win.   (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
China's Yu Yang, left, and Wang Xiaoli talk while playing against Jung Kyun-eun and Kim Ha-na, of South Korea in a farcical badminton match yesterday.   (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)
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