Steroids. Underage competitors. Racist tweets. We’ve heard about a lot of scandalous goings-on at the Olympics, but this is the first time we’ve heard of players just…not…playing well…intentionally. Despite the fact it makes no sense whatsoever, apparently eight female badminton players got expelled from the Games today for “not using one’s best efforts to win a match” and “conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport.” In non-athlete speak, it seems China’s Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang, South Korea’s Jung Kyung Eun, Kim Ha Na, Ha Jung Eun and Kim Min Jung, and Indonesia’s Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari were blowing matches on purpose. We know. It boggles the mind.
So why would a world-class athlete underperform at the biggest competition in the world? In order to improve their pick for the next round, apparently. Why would they think no one would notice? Uh…yeah, we have no idea. According to The L.A. Times, “The players dumped serves into the net and didn’t even offer the pretense of trying.” As you can imagine, this drew reprimands from the referee and boos from the crowd. “It is unacceptable,” London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Sebastian Coe declared this morning, calling the players’ actions “depressing.” We’ll say! If we wanted to see terrible badminton, we’d watch our 9-year-old cousins play our uncle’s rec room, thank you very much. All eight players have already attended a disciplinary hearing, but we think their real punishment is joining Marion Jones, Dong Fangxiao and Michael Phelps (among others) on The Top 10 Olympic-Sized Scandals Of The Summer Games list. Sorry ladies! But seriously…you probably should have known someone would notice. Or, you know, the world.
[Photo: Getty Images]