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Badminton players banished from London Olympics (+video)

Eight women from three countries were thrown out of the badminton doubles competition on Wednesday.

By Rob HarrisAssociated Press / August 1, 2012

Head badminton referee Torsten Berg, third from left, talks to Indonesia's Greysia Polii, left, and her coach Paulus Firman after he issued a black card to Polii and her partner Meiliana Jauhari as well Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung, of South Korea, unseen, during their women's doubles badminton match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 31, in London. At right is an unidentified South Korean coach.

Andres Leighton/AP

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Eight female badminton doubles players were disqualified Wednesday from the London Olympics after trying to lose matches to receive a more favorable place in the tournament.

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Eight female badminton players from three countries have been disqualified from the 2012 London Olympics for trying to lose matches in order to receive better placement in the doubles competition.

The Badminton World Federation announced its ruling after investigating two teams from South Korea and one each from China and Indonesia. It punished them for "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" in matches Tuesday night.

"We applaud the federation for having taken swift and decisive action," IOC spokesman Mark Adams told The Associated Press. "Such behavior is incompatible with the Olympic values."

Erick Thohir, the head of Indonesia's Olympic team, told the AP that the Indonesian team will appeal. The BWF said South Korea had also appealed.

The competition was to continue later Wednesday. It was unclear if four eliminated teams would be placed into the quarterfinals or if the competition would restart at the semifinal stage.

Thohir accused Chinese players of losing on purpose in the past.

"China has been doing this so many times and they never get sanctioned by the BWF," Thohir said. "On the first game yesterday when China did it, the BWF didn't do anything. If the BWF do something on the first game and they say you are disqualified, it is a warning for everyone."

IOC Vice President Craig Reedie, the former head of the international badminton federation, welcomed the decision.

"Sport is competitive," Reedie told the AP. "If you lose the competitive element, then the whole thing becomes a nonsense.

"You cannot allow a player to abuse the tournament like that, and not take firm action. So good on them."

The eight disqualified players are world doubles champions Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang of China and their South Korean opponents Jung Kyun-eun and Kim Ha-na, along with South Korea's Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung and Indonesia's Meiliana Jauhari and Greysia Polii.

The players went before a disciplinary hearing Wednesday, a day after spectators at the arena booed their performance after it became clear they were deliberately trying to lose.

International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge had been at the venue but had left shortly before the drama unfolded. The IOC said it would allow badminton's ruling body to handle the matter.

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