The World Badminton Federation (WBF) charged eight female players Wednesday of 'throwing' their doubles match in the London Olympics to get an easier draw in the next round. Four pairs of Badminton players allegedly conceded defeat by deliberately spraying the shots and faulting the serves.
"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 federation said in a statement, reported Reuters.
China's top-seeded pair 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, have been charged by the WBF.
The Chinese Sports delegation said it would investigate the allegations, adding that it does not support any action that goes against the spirit of the game, reported Xinhua, quoting an unnamed spokesman.
"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 Chinese state media report said.
South Korea's unseeded pair Jung Kyung and Kim Ha Na won a match on Tuesday against Chinese world champions Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli, which raised eyebrows. The Chinese pair were jeered and booed by the spectators, after they appeared to deliberately avoid winning the game by hitting the shuttle to the net and out of court.
With their defeat, the Chinese duo will not play another Chinese pair in another group, till they reach the finals, raising the chances of both the Chinese teams entering the finals.
Yu said after the match: "We've already qualified, so why would we waste energy? It's not necessary to go out hard again when the knockout rounds are tomorrow," AFP reported.
Another match between the South Korean third seeds Ha Jung-Eun and Kim Min-Jung and Indonesian pair Meiliana Jauhari and Greysia Polii is also under investigation. The South Koreans won the game.
Meanwhile, the South Korean coach said that his players attempted to throw the matches against the Chinese and the Indonesians, but it was "in retaliation against the Chinese team who instigated the situation," a report by Reuters stated.
"The Chinese started this. They did it first; It's a complicated thing with the draws. They didn't want to meet each other in the semi-final. So we did the same. We didn't want to play the South Korean team again (in the knockout stages)," Sung Han-kook, head coach, South Korea, told reporters.
However, Li Yongbo, the Chinese head coach, denied the allegation to Reuters and said: "This is nothing. It was just a game."