When it comes to the Olympics, athletes know they must give everything they have in order to qualify. The same, if not more effort, needs to be made if you intend to win. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) agrees that maximum effort by an athlete is an Olympic standard, not minimal exertion that appeared to have happened in two instances; one confirmed and the other suspected. Both instances have resulted in eight female athletes being expelled from the games and a cry for further investigations that call for the badminton coaches’ actions to be looked at more closely.
The first instance was when eight female badminton players were expelled from the games recently. Furthermore, the players from three Asian nations were later ordered from the athletes’ village and sent home. The four South Koreans, plus two players each from Indonesia and China, threw matches during the doubles competition this past Tuesday to create a favorable draw. Spokesperson Mark Adams said that the IOC has asked the Badminton World Federation to examine the actions of not only the coaches but anyone affiliated with the guilty teams, “to look into the entourage issue just to see if there any questions to be answered.” Also, he added the IOC sent the federation a “clear message that, if this happens again, action will be taken” by the Games’ ruling body. He did not elaborate.
While the first instance has been confirmed, it is the second instance of alleged lack of genuine effort that has a lot of people wanting to know more information and if those involved should be punished. The Japanese women’s soccer coach made a startling admission that he asked the players not to score but to preserve a tie, sparing the team a tie. However, the IOC disputed Thursday that the Japanese women complied with Norio Sasaki’s request to not play as hard during what seemed to be a calculated 0-0 tie against South Africa on Tuesday.
Adams said, “There’s no evidence at all that the athletes acted on what the coach said in that particular instance. I’m not even sure I’ve seen a decent translation of what the coach has said.” He also added that, “it’s not clear” — as opposed to the badminton indignity — that the Japanese did not try to win.
It is obvious that the coach was concerned more with winning than with the ethics involved in playing in the Olympics. Sasaki said, “”It was a different way of playing compared to the usual game, but the players were on the same page as me. “I feel sorry we couldn’t show a respectable game, but it’s my responsibility, not the players, why the game was like that. It was important for us not to move to Glasgow.” Japan seized home-field advantage against Brazil as a result of the tie.
The scandal has made coaches and spectators think about what someone will be willing to do to win. Putting ethics aside, the price and consequences can be high if all that matters is the win. For the coach of the Chinese team, Li Yongbo, he ended up apologizing on national television back home, taking blame only hours after the badminton scheming was revealed. As for one of China’s best players, Yu Yang, is ranked No.1 in the world along with badminton partner Wang Xiaoli. Yang was sent home and apparently has quit the sport. Yang sent a message out Wednesday on a social media service to her more than one million followers that read: “This is my last game. Farewell Badminton World Federation. Farewell my dear badminton.”
Eight Olympic Badminton Players Disqualified
Eight badminton players at the London Olympics were kicked out of competition Wednesday for trying to lose a display that drew outrage from fans and organizers who said the women had violated the most sacred stage in sports.
Badminton Scandal in the London Olympics: 8 Female Players Disqualified [Video]
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