OLYMPICS/ BADMINTON: Chinese media also blame rule makers for scandal

August 03, 2012

REUTERS

BEIJING -- The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Badminton World Federation must shoulder some responsibility for the match-throwing scandal at the 2012 Games, Chinese state media said on August 3.

The IOC has asked China, South Korea and Indonesia to investigate four women's doubles pairs who, in farcical scenes on July 31, tried to lose their matches to secure easier draws in the knockout rounds.

The request followed an admission by China's head badminton coach Li Yongbo that he was to blame after top seeds Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli deliberately played to lose in the opening round-robin phase.

"The Chinese badminton team is at fault but they have not committed a heinous crime. Li Yongbo gave a quick and sincere apology," said the influential Global Times.

"They deserve criticism and punishment but if the International Olympic Committee and the Badminton World Federation punishment are excessive, and the bureaucrats within those organizations refuse any responsibility, it will arouse resentment."

Some teams have criticized the round-robin format introduced at the London Games as ripe for manipulation.

In his apology, Li said the poor behavior of his players reflected the shortcomings of the new schedule although he added it was no excuse for their performance.

Chinese officials have severely "criticized and educated" the team and demanded a public apology, the official Xinhua news agency said earlier, quoting an unnamed spokesperson.

Four players from South Korea and two from Indonesia were also kicked out of the Games.

Yu has already announced her retirement from the sport, slamming the federation for shattering her and her doubles partner's "dream."

"Since Yu Yang was little she has been very obedient. I don't think she would have done it on her own initiative," state radio quoted her mother Zhou Li as saying.

REUTERS
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Unidentified official talks to world doubles champions Yu Yang, left, and Wang Xiaoli, as South Korea's Jung Kyung-eun, right, and Kim Ha-na, listen during their women's doubles badminton match at the 2012 Summer Olympics on July 31 in London. Wang and Yu and their South Korean opponents were booed loudly at the Olympics for appearing to try and lose their group match in Wembley Arena to earn an easier draw. (AP Photo)

Unidentified official talks to world doubles champions Yu Yang, left, and Wang Xiaoli, as South Korea's Jung Kyung-eun, right, and Kim Ha-na, listen during their women's doubles badminton match at the 2012 Summer Olympics on July 31 in London. Wang and Yu and their South Korean opponents were booed loudly at the Olympics for appearing to try and lose their group match in Wembley Arena to earn an easier draw. (AP Photo)

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  • Unidentified official talks to world doubles champions Yu Yang, left, and Wang Xiaoli, as South Korea's Jung Kyung-eun, right, and Kim Ha-na, listen during their women's doubles badminton match at the 2012 Summer Olympics on July 31 in London. Wang and Yu and their South Korean opponents were booed loudly at the Olympics for appearing to try and lose their group match in Wembley Arena to earn an easier draw. (AP Photo)

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