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Bye Bye Birdie: Badminton Star Quits Amid Scandal

Yu Yang calling it quits after being disqualified for trying to lose

By Jay Cohen
|  Thursday, Aug 2, 2012  |  Updated 9:11 AM CDT
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Golden Athletes of the London 2012 Games

AP

China's Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli, rear, play against Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na, of South Korea, in a women's doubles badminton match at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

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A Chinese badminton star says she's calling it quits after being disqualified from the doubles tournament at the Olympics for trying to lose to secure a better match-up in the next round.

A comment on a verified account for Yu Yang on the Tencent microblogging service late Wednesday read: "This is my last game. Farewell Badminton World Federation. Farewell my dear badminton."

Yu and Wang Xiaoli were one of four doubles teams which appeared to play poorly on purpose to secure a more favorable position in the next phase of the event.

The eight doubles players from China, South Korea and Indonesia were cited by the Badminton World Federation for "conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport."

"We have to be clear, there has been a problem here and we have to take that problem very seriously," federation secretary general Thomas Lund said. "There are things we can improve on and look at after this competition."

South Korea and Indonesia appealed the disqualification, but the federation rejected the South Korean appeal and the Indonesia challenge was withdrawn. China had accepted the federation's earlier decision.

"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."

The IOC is also urging the countries' national Olympic committees to investigate the coaches of the players.

"We have asked the NOCs to look into the entourage issue to see if there are questions to be answered there," IOC spokesman Mark Adams said Thursday.

The International Olympic Committee wants team coaches, trainers or officials to be punished if they encouraged or ordered the players to lose deliberately.

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 after spectators at the arena booed their performance when it became clear they were deliberately trying to lose.

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