You wouldn’t think that badminton would generate intrigue and subterfuge. But watchers of the London Olympics were transfixed when not one or two but four pairs of women’s doubles badminton players were disqualified for deliberately losing their matches. The reason for the foul play? The Indonesian, Chinese and South Korean shuttlers wanted an easier draw in their upcoming matches. But they didn’t bother pretending to try to win. “Such behavior is incompatible with the Olympic values,” said International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams. Maybe so. But the players who were dumped from competition, including the reigning Chinese pair, argued that they were simply taking advantage of the rules governing the round-robin format of Olympic badminton. The clear losers were the spectators, who had to endure a level of play more suitable to a weekend in the suburbs than the top echelons of sport. That’s putting the bad in badminton.
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