Badminton players could face further sanctions after IOC probe


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Further sanctions may be placed on the Chinese, Indonesian and South Korean badminton teams after the International Olympic Committee confirmed this morning that it had requested a probe of the teams’ coaches and support staff.

Eight female players were thrown out of the Games yesterday after their blatant attempts to lose their matches in order to have an easier draw later in the competition outraged spectators and officials.

Now the IOC is asking the Chinese, South Korean and Indonesian national Olympic committees to investigate the coaches of the players who were disqualified for trying to lose their matches.

Asked whether the IOC was considering sanctions, spokesman Mark Adams replied: “I wouldn’t say sanctions as yet but I understand we have asked the NOCs to look into the entourage issue just to see if there any questions to be answered there.”

He added that the national committees are currently in the process of taking away the players' accreditations, removing them from the athletes village and sending them home. Chinese player Yu Yang declared this morning on Chinese social media that she was quitting the sport.

"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. This was only so as to be able to compete better in the second round of the knockout (stage). This is the first time the Olympics has changed the (event's format). Don't they understand the harm this has caused the athletes.”

Earlier this morning Chinese badminton coach Li Yongbo apologised for his team’s performance saying: “It’s me to blame”.

“As head coach, I owe the supporters of Chinese badminton and the Chinese TV audiences an apology," the Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying.

"Chinese players failed to demonstrate the fine tradition and fighting spirit of the national team. It's me to blame."