May 22, 2013
Badminton players disqualified after fiasco
Eight women badminton players were disqualified by the sport's federation for deliberately trying to lose at the Olympics and manipulate the draw, angering fans and fellow athletes who said they undermined the spirit of the Games.
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 controversy overshadowed spectacular action in the pool late on Tuesday, when US swimmer Michael Phelps's historic 19th medal made him the most decorated Olympian of all time.
The euphoria was tempered by the previous night's events at Wembley Arena in London, where the crowd shouted abuse at the players as badminton matches descended into farce when the teams deliberately sprayed shots and duffed serves.
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.
Men's singles champion Lin Dan broke ranks with his badminton compatriots, saying such tactics were not in the Olympic spirit.
Lin, the men's singles world number one and a national hero in China, also criticised the Badminton World Federation for instituting a system that was ripe for manipulation.
"I think it will definitely bring a negative impact, because all of these fans came to watch this tournament," the 28-year-old told reporters at Wembley Arena. "This situation really is not in the Olympic sporting spirit."