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Olympic badminton scandal prompts rule revamp

677   //    30 Nov 2012, 19:19 IST


Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang of China were among those disqualified over the 2012 match-throwing

Wang Xiaoli (right) and Yu Yang (left) play in their women’s doubles match against Kim Ha Na and Jung Kyung Eun of South Korea during the London 2012 Olympics on July 31, which the South Koreans won 21-14, 21-11 — but both teams were later disqualified for playing to lose. The Badminton World Federation on Friday announced changes to Olympic doubles rules following the match-throwing scandal.

The Badminton World Federation on Friday announced changes to Olympic doubles rules following a match-throwing scandal at the London Games, but said it would take no further action against coaches.

It said the new system, which will be introduced for the Rio Olympics in 2016, would “ensure such a regrettable spectacle is never witnessed in badminton again”.

The BWF said that in the future, following the group stage, all pairs finishing second in their groups would be placed into a second draw to determine who they face in the knockout phase.

But pairs topping their group stage would have fixed positions equivalent to seeded placings in the knockout stage.

“This will eliminate any player’s thoughts about actively trying to lose a match or matches, irrespective of other match results. Such a draw process can easily and effectively be made just after all group matches have been concluded,” the federation said in a statement released in Bangkok.

Eight women’s doubles players from South Korea, Indonesia and China were disqualified for trying to lose matches at the London Olympics.

The scandal prompted Chinese badminton star Yu Yang to say she was quitting the sport, although she resumed playing at the Super Series Premier event in Shanghai earlier this month.

In its statement, the federation said that the BWF Council had concluded it was “not legally feasible” to take further action against any coaches or entourages over the London Olympics case.

The federation noted that some of its member associations had already taken their own action, and said it had strengthened its own code of conduct.

The Korea Badminton Association initially banned two coaches for life but after an appeal reduced the suspension to two years.

The BWF also said its council had approved the trial early next year of an instant-replay line call system using cameras to show the exact place where a shuttle lands on the court.

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