Badminton changes rules after “regrettable spectacle”
The Badminton World Federation announced rule changes to the Olympic doubles format Friday in Bangkok after eight players were expelled from the Olympics for giving less than a valiant effort to win matches during London’s round robin stage.
The new rules, which will take effect in Rio, place all pairs finishing second in their group into an additional draw to determine which teams will face off in the knockout stage, which the BWF says will “ensure such a regrettable spectacle is never witnessed in badminton again.”
The top group finishers will have a fixed position similar to seeding for the final round.
“This will eliminate any player’s thoughts about actively trying to lose a match or matches, irrespective of other match results,” the BWF said in a statement. “Such a draw process can easily and effectively be made just after all group matches have been concluded.”
The federation also stated that they won’t take any more action against the players or coaches involved in the scandal, mostly because it’s not “legally feasible,” but added that the specific organizations had already done their part to punish the offenders, and that the BWF had strengthened its code of conduct to sanction coaches in the future.
Korea attempted to ban its two coaches for life, but the suspension was reduced to only two years. As for Chinese star Yu Yang - who was kicked out along with her teammate, two teams from South Korea, and one from Indonesia - she has since started playing again and won a tournament in Shanghai earlier this month.