There is another interesting legal controversy in the Olympics (I watch just for the challenges and appeals). The Chinese have again been accused of cheating — this time in Badminton. Onlookers booed and heaped abuse on Chinese players as they clearly threw matches to secure a better draw later in the competition. This reportedly prompted the South Korean team to also intentionally lose – resulting in an embarrassment for the entire field. Eight female players have now been charged with the novel offenses of “not using one’s best efforts to win a match” and “conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport.” The charged players include China’s world champions Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang. China’s long-serving head coach Li Yongbo denied any such effort even though observers said it was obvious and obnoxious. [UPDATE: all of the players have now been disqualified from the competition]
The South Koreans admit to their attempts to throw the match but insist that it was in retaliation after the Chinese players start to intentionally serve into the net and make obvious intentional misplays.
China’s Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli and South Korean’s Jung Kyung Eun and Kim Ha Na were the focus of the misconduct in trying to throw their women’s doubles badminton match. Also charged were Indonesia’s Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari and two South Korean players HA Jung-eun and Kim Min Jung.
China issued a statement that it did not approve of any misconduct and “opposes any behavior or acts which contravene this spirit or sports morality for any reason or in any form.”
South Korea head coach Sung Han-kook had a rather juvenile defense: “The Chinese started this. They did it first.” It would seem that a protest might be a better option — though South Korea may have used up its cash reserve in fencing.
A referee warned Yu and Wang and Jung and Kim that they might be disqualified. The Chinese went on to lose to the South Koreans. Both teams were jeered and booed by the normally respectful crowd. China has been repeatedly accused this year of such misconduct in international matches by various countries
The denial by China’s head coach Li Yongbo was met with equal anger after the match. He did not help matters by chuckling in response and saying
“This is nothing. It was just a game.”