Olympics badminton: South Korean appeal rejected

London: An appeal by four South Korean badminton players against their disqualification from the Olympics for match-fixing has been rejected, the head of the Badminton World Federation said Wednesday.

Russia, Australia, Canada and South Africa have each had a team reinstated as a result of the scandal, which saw eight players expelled from the Olympics, BWF secretary general Thomas Lund said.

Gold medal favourites and No. 1 seeds in the women`s doubles, Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang of China, were excluded along with with two Korean pairs, Jung Kyung Eun and Kim Ha Na and Ha Jung Eun and Kim Min Jung.

Indonesia`s Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari were also expelled.

The players had been charged with unsporting behaviour after playing their last round of group stage matches Tuesday below par, regularly netting serves and smashing wide.

All four pairs had already qualified for the quarterfinals, but the Chinese team stood accused of not wanting Wang and Yu to face its other duo, Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei, until the final, while the South Korean teams could have avoided playing each other in the next round.

The South Koreans and Indonesians had launched appeals, but none of the players will be reinstated, Lund said.

"Before the Indonesian appeal was considered, Indonesia had decided to withdraw. Only the Korean cases were considered by appeals chairman," Lund said.

"The decision was to reject the case thereby the decision from this morning stands."

He added that the players involved would receive no further punishment beyond disqualification from the Olympics.

Some leading badminton figures have criticized the decision to introduce an opening group stage for London, saying that it created opportunities to manipulate the draw that did not exist in the previous knockout format.

"We have a problem here and that has to be looked at very seriously when we get to that stage," Lund said of the concerns, adding that the group stage had been a "tremendous success" because it allowed lower-ranked players to have more time on court.