London • South Korea’s appeal of its Olympic disqualification from women’s doubles was rejected Wednesday, and Indonesia withdrew its challenge.
Four doubles teams were disqualified from the London Games earlier in the day after trying to lose matches to receive a more favorable place in the tournament. The Badminton World Federation punished the eight players after investigating two teams from South Korea and one each from China and Indonesia. South Korea and Indonesia appealed, but China accepted the federation’s decision.
"We applaud the federation for having taken swift and decisive action," IOC spokesman Mark Adams told The Associated Press. "Such behavior is incompatible with the Olympic values."
The competition was to continue later Wednesday with four previously eliminated teams in the quarterfinals. Russian pair Valeria Sorokina and Nina Vislova, and Canadian team Alex Bruce and Michele Li now advance from Group A. Australian pair Leanne Choo and Renuga Veeran and South African duo Michelle Edwards and Annari Viljoen go through from Group C.
Before the decision was announced, Indonesia Olympic team leader Erick Thohir accused Chinese players of losing on purpose in the past.
"China has been doing this so many times and they never get sanctioned by the BWF," Thohir said. "On the first game yesterday when China did it, the BWF didn’t do anything. If the BWF do something on the first game and they say you are disqualified, it is a warning for everyone."
IOC Vice President Craig Reedie, the former head of the international badminton federation, welcomed the decision to kick the four teams out.
"Sport is competitive," Reedie told the AP. "If you lose the competitive element, then the whole thing becomes a nonsense.
"You cannot allow a player to abuse the tournament like that, and not take firm action. So good on them."
The eight disqualified players are world doubles champions Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang of China and their South Korean opponents Jung Kyun-eun and Kim Ha-na, along with South Korea’s Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung and Indonesia’s Meiliana Jauhari and Greysia Polii.
The players went before a disciplinary hearing Wednesday, a day after spectators at the arena booed their performance after it became clear they were deliberately trying to lose.Next Page >
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