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Olympic badminton players disqualified for throwing match

Eight Olympic women's badminton players face disciplinary action for allegedly throwing matches.
Olympic badminton
Wang Xiaoli (R) and Yu Yang (L) play a shot during their women's double badminton match against Kim Ha Na and Jung Kyung Eun of South Korea during the London 2012 Olympic Games. (AFP/Getty/AFP/Getty Images)

Eight women's badminton players are who faced disciplinary action this morning from the Badminton World Federation have been disqualified. The women were originally accused of "not using one's best efforts to win a match" and conducting themselves "in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport."

The accusation came after Tuesday's matches at Wembley Arena, where players were booed by fans after they appeared to not exert themselves in preliminary rounds before they were set to move on to elimination competition, USA Today reported

USA Today noted that in one match pitting Xiaoli Wang and Yan Yu of China against Kyung Eun Jung and Ha Na Kim of South Korea, the players appeared to deliberately serve into the net, triggering a warning from the referee.

The Chinese Olympic delegation is also investigating its players. In a statement to CNN the delegation said, "Upon learning the incident, the delegation leadership has ordered an investigation into what and why it happened."

Players blamed a format change on why they would throw a game. The London Olympics introduced a round-robin stage rather than a straight knockout tournament. In the round-robin format, losing one game can lead to an easier matchup in the next round, according to the Associated Press. 

IOC spokesman Mark Adams told the AP, "We have full confidence in the federation to take any necessary steps. They have the experience to deal with such issues."

According to The New York Times, disqualifications threw the tournament into turmoil and prompted calls for rule changes. Indonesia appealed the decision, but quickly withdrew it. The Koreans had their appeal denied after a long review by badminton officials.