Global badminton chief vows to prevent match throwing
The global badminton chief on Sunday vowed to take "appropriate action" to prevent further match-throwing attempts in the sport.
In a press conference, Kang Young-joong, president of the Badminton World Federation (BWF), said the governing body of the sport will also "carefully assess" current regulations in the Olympic badminton tournament and look to increase awareness among shuttlers and coaches about ethical standards in the sport.
"Let there be no misunderstanding; the BWF takes this matter utterly seriously," Kang said. "And we trust that the steps we have taken show this."
The badminton component wrapped up Sunday as Lin Dan of China successfully defended the men's singles title. The sport was earlier marred by a match-throwing scandal in the women's doubles, with four doubles pairs, including two from Korea,
disqualified for their apparent attempts to lose group stage matches on purpose to ensure favorable draws in the elimination round.
The BWF handed out the disqualification ruling, and Kang insisted there was no pressure from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to take tough action.
"We based our decision on our regulations, our constitution," he said. "We work as an independent organization."
This was the first Olympics in which a round-robin group play preceded the knockout phase. Critics of the system say it is vulnerable to match-throwing attempts or even "strategic losing," where players who've already secured a spot in the elimination stage can manipulate their seeds by losing on purpose.
Thomas Lund, BWF's chief operating officer and secretary general, said the group play "has been a tremendous success" because it's allowed more players to compete at the Olympics.
He added the BWF will initiate "a review of all areas in a way that it's possible to avoid (match throwing) in the future" and said the review will also include the state of group play. (Yonhap)