Li Yongbo, China’s Olympic badminton head coach, has apologized for his role after his two top players were disqualified for not playing to win.
Li Yongbo said: “It’s me to blame”, while disqualified player Yu Yang declared she was quitting the sport.
Yu Yang and partner Wang Xiaoli were among eight players disqualified for trying to lose games in an attempt to secure a better draw for the knockout stage.
Li Yongbo said: “As head coach, I owe the supporters of Chinese badminton and the Chinese TV audiences an apology,” according to official Chinese news agency Xinhua.
After the outcome of the disciplinary hearing on Wednesday, Yu Yang wrote on the Weibo micro-blogging site: “This is my last time competing. Goodbye Badminton World Federation; goodbye beloved badminton.”
Apart from Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli, South Korean badminton pairs Jung Kyung-Eun and Kim Ha-Na, and Ha Jung-Eun and Kim Min-Jung, along with Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari of Indonesia were disqualified from the women’s doubles competition.