Mass Badminton disqualifications at the London 2012 Olympics have stunned the Games. In total eight badminton players were disqualified from the women's doubles competition after being found to be "not using one's best efforts to win."
Two pairs from South Korea, as well as a pair each from China and Indonesia were disqualified on Wednesday after featuring in some diabolical matches, where all were accused of trying to lose. It seems all the pairs were trying to gain easier routes through the knock out stages by losing their final group games, leading to some extraordinary games being played on Tuesday.
Some of the competitors claimed they were just trying to conserve their energy for the knock out rounds, but such was the poor standard of the matches that fans as well as officials watching were left outraged.
South Korea launched an appeal against the decision on Wednesday but that has been rejected by the Badminton World Federation. Indonesia also initially launched an appeal, but they have since withdrawn their objection.
The players were described as "conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport."
In Tuesday's match at Wembley Arena between China's Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli and South Koreans Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na, the longest rally in the entire first game lasted just four shots. Fans jeered the players as it became so obvious that the world class badminton players were not giving their all. At one point match referee Thorsten Berg came on the court to issue an official warning to the players about their conduct. Eventually South Korea won the Group A match 21-14, 21-11.
It is believed that both pairs wanted to avoid China's Tian Quing and Zhao Yunlei in the knock out round. The winner of the match would play them. The Chinese pair also seemingly wanted to avoid their country colleagues; something that is considered manipulating the progression and outcome of the tournament.
South Korea's coach Sung Han-kook, said: "The Chinese started this. They did it first. It's a complicated thing with the draws. They didn't want to meet each other in the semi-final, they don't want that to happen.
"They (BWF) should do something about that."
Astonishingly a later match went the same way. That match between South Korean third seeds Ha Jung-Eun and Kim Min-Jung and Indonesian pair Meiliana Juahari and Greysia Polii ended in similarly outrageous circumstances. At one point referee Berg brandished the black card to disqualify the teams, but that was later rescinded and the match resumed.
Gail Emms, a badminton Olympic silver medallist for Great Britain in 2004, spoke to the BBC saying: "I'm furious. It is very embarrassing for our sport. This is the Olympic Games. This is something that is not acceptable. The crowd paid good money to watch two matches."