China has ordered an investigation into the allegation that two Chinese badminton players deliberately lost a match in the group stage at the ongoing Olympics in London, a statement quoted by the state media said on Wednesday.
The investigation was launched following the Badminton World Federation charging eight female shuttlers – four from South Korea, two from Indonesia besides the two Chinese players – with “not using one’s best efforts to win a match.”
The allegation against the two Chinese players followed another unsubstantiated allegation of doping against Chinese teenager, Ye Shiwen, after she won stunning victories in the swimming pool.
In badminton, Xinhua said Chinese shuttlers Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli lost in a suspicious way in women's doubles Tuesday evening at the Wembley Arena, which was hissed and booed by the crowd watching the competition.
“The Chinese Olympic Committee is devoted to promote the Olympic spirit, carries forward the sports spirit of equity and justice, and opposes any kind of behaviors to violate the sporting spirit and morality,” a spokesperson of the Chinese delegation told state media.
China which sent a smaller team to London compared to Beijing is leading the medals tally.
According to state media, the badminton match umpire called a halt at 14-10 in the first game after a series of serves into the net from both sides, and tournament referee talked to the pairs, but situation didn't seem to change.
“Yu and Wang hit the net at least for three times during service, while the Korean missed their service many times as well by striking the shuttlecock directly out of the court.
The second game saw the four players continue lapsing and listlessly missing shots to the corners. It was only after spectators began booing and whistling did they lash some smashes,” Xinhua reported.
David Wakefield, a British spectator, believed the lackluster play "unacceptable".
"This is below international standard, even the training standard," he told Xinhua. "It is unfair for other players." If they were playing this way, players from team GB would have chance to win, he added.
His friend Chris Wanless was dissatisfied with attitude of the players and was curious to know the reason. "Was it because of too much pressure?" he asked. "I saw the referee talking with them. Maybe he was just telling them to ignore the crowd."