Officials try to recover after teams take a dive 

click to enlarge Sent packing: The Chinese duo of Wang Xiaoli, left, and Yu Yang was one of four teams disqualified from doubles badminton for throwing a match. - MICHAEL REGAN/GETTY IMAGES
  • Michael Regan/Getty Images
  • Sent packing: The Chinese duo of Wang Xiaoli, left, and Yu Yang was one of four teams disqualified from doubles badminton for throwing a match.

LONDON — World badminton apologized on Wednesday for a scandal that has sullied the sport’s reputation at the London Olympics and resulted in eight women being disqualified from the tournament.

The expulsion of four women’s doubles pairs sent shock waves through the tournament, removing China’s top-seeded duo and other doubles pairs from the South Korean and Indonesian teams.

“I’m very, very sorry this has happened for both the players and for the sport,” Badminton World Federation secretary general Thomas Lund said.

“We made this decision for the best interests of all the players. The most important thing is to deal with such cases in a firm and fair manner.”

The coach of China’s badminton team Li Yongbo told Chinese media he was responsible for his world championship duo Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli’s failure to compete for victory.

“As head coach, I owe the supporters of Chinese badminton and the Chinese TV audiences an apology,” he was quoted as saying. “Chinese players failed to demonstrate the fine tradition and fighting spirit of the national team. It’s me to blame.”

Tuesday’s evening session of the badminton descended into chaos, with fans jeering two matches as players deliberately missed shots and dumped serves into the net to try and secure a more favorable matchup in the next round.

— Reuters

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