Eight Olympians Charged with 'Throwing' Badminton Matchesإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The Olympic badminton tournament was thrown into chaos on Wednesday when eight women players were charged with trying to "throw" matches to secure an easier draw in the next round.
Four pairs in the women's doubles competition - one from China, one from Indonesia and two from South Korea - were booed off court by irate spectators at London's Wembley Arena on Tuesday.
The players in two matches had appeared to deliberately serve into the net to concede points, hit the shuttlecock out of play, or waste time.
They could be disciplined after the Badminton World Federation (BWF) charged them with "not using one's best efforts to win a match" and "conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport".
A hearing is due to take place Wednesday, although all four pairs are currently still included in the order of play for their quarterfinals scheduled in the evening.
The players were allegedly attempting to manipulate the final standings in the first-round group stage, with two pairs who had already qualified apparently wanting to lose to secure easier opponents in the next round.
A match between China's world champions Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli and unseeded South Korean pair Jung Kyung and Kim Ha Na came under scrutiny after the Chinese lost a contest they would normally be expected to win.
With their defeat, Yu and Wang avoided playing another fellow Chinese pair who had finished second in another group, in the quarterfinals.
Yu said after the match: "We've already qualified, so why would we waste energy? It's not necessary to go out hard again when the knockout rounds are tomorrow."
China's Olympic delegation - already fighting off accusations of doping against teenage swimming sensation Ye Shiwen - has launched an investigation into the badminton allegations, state media said.
"The Chinese Olympic Committee... opposes any kind of behavior to violate the sporting spirit and morality," a Chinese Olympic spokesman told Xinhua news agency.
A later match in which South Korean third seeds Ha Jung-Eun and Kim Min-Jung beat Indonesian pair Meiliana Jauhari and Greysia Polii is also being investigated by the governing body.
Ye meanwhile is set to face fresh questions about her rapid rise after the 16-year-old Chinese girl won the 200m medley on Tuesday to collect her second gold of the Games.
Away from the pool, Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins bids on Wednesday to become Britain's most successful Olympian when he goes in the individual time trial.
Wiggins starts as favorite for the 44km race around London's Hampton Court Palace after winning both long time trials on the Tour.
A medal of any color would see Wiggins overtake the six won by rower Steve Redgrave.
While the U.S. and China battle for supremacy at the top of the medals' table, the host nation is still waiting for its first gold medal.
Britain is hoping that rowers Helen Glover and Heather Stanning deliver it in early action in the women's pairs event.