| Beijing: China`s Olympic delegation has backed the move to expel two of its badminton players from the London Olympics for trying to throw a match, saying their actions "hurt our hearts".
In a statement, the delegation supported the Badminton World Federation`s (BWF) sanction against top women`s doubles seeds Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli, who were among eight players kicked out for not playing to win.
"It has been learned that Chinese badminton players Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli were disqualified by the BWF because they tried to lose a match on purpose," said the statement, carried by state news agency Xinhua.
"The Chinese delegation fully respects BWF`s decisions."
The two athletes` behavior "violated the principles of the Olympic movement and went against the spirit of fair play. It hurt our hearts," the statement said.
"The Chinese Olympic Committee has always been firmly against any conduct that is against sportsmanship," it added.
Angry spectators jeered and booed the players, also including two South Korean duos and a pair from Indonesia, after they appeared to deliberately serve into the net, or hit the shuttlecock long or wide.
They were allegedly attempting to manipulate the final standings in the group stage, with pairs who had already qualified apparently wanting to lose to secure a favourable draw in the next round.
At a disciplinary hearing on Wednesday, they were disqualified for "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".
First Published: Friday, August 03, 2012, 00:01