[QODLink]
London 2012

Badminton scandal prompts rule change

Badminton World Federation to change Olympic doubles rules in time for Rio 2016 following match-throwing saga in London.
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2012 15:38
The BWF disqualified eight female players from China, Indonesia and South Korea in August after they were charged with deliberately losing group stage contests to secure an easier draw through the tournament [Reuters]

The Badminton World Federation decided Friday to change the Olympic doubles rules but not the much-criticised group format in the wake of the match-throwing scandal at the London Games.

The change, said BWF secretary general Thomas Lund, was "to ensure such a regrettable spectacle is never witnessed in badminton again.''

Four women's pairs, including the world champions from China, were disqualified in London for trying to deliberately lose their group matches to rig easier paths through the knockout stages.

But at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, all teams finishing second in their groups will go through another draw to determine who they face in the knockout stage. The group winners will have fixed positions to begin the playoffs.

"This will eliminate any player's thoughts about actively trying to lose a match or matches, irrespective of other match results,'' Lund said.

He added it will optimise the format, despite general derision by the players for the group stage which was introduced in London. The BWF changed it from a straight knockout draw to give players more matches, and declared the format a success in terms of exposure.

No punishment

The BWF also decided, after lobbying by players, that it would not punish any of the disqualified teams' coaches or entourages because it was "not legally feasible.''

The code of conduct was updated to sanction coaches in future, and the BWF noted some of the national associations meted out penalties. South Korea gave lifetime bans to its two disqualified teams and two coaches, but on appeal reduced the players' suspensions to six months and the coaches' to two years.

China coach Li Yongbo initially laid the blame for the scandal on himself and apologised, then later said he was taking advantage of the rules and the BWF over-reacted by disqualifying the players.

Disgraced world champion Yu Yang of China, who said she was retiring after being sent home, returned to action on the world circuit this month.

Indonesia lifted the suspensions on its doubles pair this month.

The BWF also approved a trial for instant replay on line calls to begin early next year.

382

Source:
AP
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.

Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.