Erick Thohir, head of Indonesia’s Olympic team, told the Associated Press that eight doubles badminton players from China, South Korea and Indonesia have been disqualified for throwing their matches to obtain a more favorable draw.
Says the AP: “A badminton official with knowledge of Tuesday’s incidents said the problems started when a Chinese pair lost unexpectedly to a Danish team. This meant that the top two seeded teams, both from China, would meet earlier than expected and one would eliminate the other earlier than the planned time, the final. The plan would be for China to win gold and silver but the Chinese pair needed to lose to avoid playing their fellow Chinese before the semifinal.”
According to the Telegraph, “The expelled players include Chinese World Champions Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang.”
In a match Tuesday pitting China against South Korea, the players appeared to purposely hit the shuttlecock into the net or out of bounds, drawing boos from the crowd.
The women’s doubles quarterfinals are scheduled to start at noon Wednesday.
Thohir became the lead investor of D.C. United earlier this month. He told the AP that the Indonesian team would appeal the decision.