Four women's Badminton pairs were punted from the Olympic Games on Wednesday for throwing their preliminary matches in order to obtain an easier matchup in the quarterfinals. Two teams from South Korea, one from China, and one from Indonesia deliberately swatted the shuttlecock out of bounds and into the net in an attempt to lose their matches and change the outcome of the quarter-final draw. The poor play was so obvious that referees repeatedly warned the players, and spectators ultimately booed the teams off the court. The South Korean coach defended his players, whom he said were merely following China's lead; China maintained they were simply preserving their energy. After an investigation, the I.O.C. said the teams had violated their agreement upon entering the Olympics in “not using one’s best efforts to win a match.” I.O.C. Vice President Craig Reedie and former head of the International Badminton Federation, came out in support of the decision. "Sport is competitive," Reedie told the Associated Press. "If you lose the competitive element, then the whole thing becomes a nonsense."
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