Match fixing at London Olympics
Disgraced Chinese badminton player Yu Yang has quit the sport after being disqualified from the Olympics along with seven other women for deliberately trying to lose to secure an easier draw in the knockout rounds.
The sight of four doubles teams spraying hopeless shots into the net and beyond the lines disgusted a jeering crowd of 4,800 packed into Wembley Arena to see badminton's finest and forced the sport's governing body to kick them out.
As top seeds, the Chinese duo would have stood a good chance of adding to China's medal tally. They already head the table with 17 golds after five days of competition, ahead of the United States on 12 and South Korea on six.
Chinese officials have told their players to make a public apology after the antics of the duo, two Korean teams and an Indonesian pairing trying to take advantage of a change in the rules were beamed around the globe.
“This is my last competition. Goodbye Badminton World Federation (BWF), goodbye my beloved badminton,” Yu wrote on her Tencent microblog.
“We … only chose to use the rules to abandon the match.” “You have heartlessly shattered our dreams,” Yu added.
“It's that simple, not complicated at all. But this is unforgivable.”
The shockwaves from Tuesday evening's badminton debacle have reverberated round the Games, putting the focus squarely on match officials and calling the spirit of sport into question.
Olympic judges and referees came under fire on Wednesday with one boxer accusing them of “a fix”, another successfully appealing a loss and even boxing great Lennox Lewis questioning some of their calls.
Iran's Ali Mazaheri cried foul when the heavyweight was disqualified after being warned three times for persistent holding against Cuban Jose Larduet Gomez despite leading by two points going into the second round.
“It was a fix. I could have got a bronze easily if it hadn't been for that,” an irate Mazaheri, who walked out of the ring before the decision was officially announced, told reporters through a translator.
Earlier, China's Ding Ning sobbed and also accused an umpire of ruining her Olympic dream when she lost the table tennis gold medal to compatriot Li Xiaoxia after being punished with penalty points in a tense and tetchy encounter.
By Alison Williams – LONDON (Reuters)