One of the badminton players from China who was disqualified from the Olympics for attempting to lose has decided to quit the sport. Yu Yang posted the following on the Tencent microblogging site that said: “This is my last game. Farewell Badminton World Federation. Farewell my dear badminton.” Chinese badminton officials did not confirm Yu’s retirement from the sport. Yu and Wang Xiaoli were the doubles team from China ousted from the Olympics along with three other doubles teams. All doubles teams were accused of playing badly purposely in order to obtain a better spot in the next round of the tournament.
The other teams disqualified came from South Korea (two) and Indonesia. The players were permitted to remain at the games even though they were disqualified. The next step up would have been expulsion, which occurs when an athlete tests positive for drugs. The matches in question were held on Tuesday night at the Wembley Arena. Fans in attendance chanted “Off! Off! Off!” when they realized what was happening.
“They’re serving fault and fault! They are just hitting the ball into the net!” David Mercer of the BBC said. “They are both trying to lose, and that is unforgivable. This is the Olympic Games.”
In the morning, the second-seeded doubles team from China lost unexpectedly to a Danish team. The Chinese did their best in that match to rig the outcome. Later in the day, the Indonesians and the South Koreans did the same in their matches in an effort to obtain a lesser opponent in the next round.
Yu made an appearance on China state television to apologize “to all the badminton fans and friends over yesterday’s game, because we did not comply with the Olympic spirit, and did not deliver a match with our true level to the audience, the fans and the friends.” The actions of the Chinese players were criticized by the Chinese Olympic delegation in a statement it released to Xinhua.
“The behavior by Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli on court violated the Olympics ideal and the spirit of fair play. The Chinese delegation feels distressed over this matter,” the delegation said. It was also noted by Xinhua that Li Yongbo, the Chinese badminton coach, apologized for the incident and took the blame for the issue.
“As the head coach, I owe the fans and the Chinese an apology,” Li said. “Chinese players failed to demonstrate their fighting spirit of the national team. It’s me to blame.”