Is It Unsportsmanlike for Athletes to Intentionally Lose?

Four badminton duos were kicked out of the Olympics this week for throwing their matches, but this isn't the first time or sport in which this has happened.

Eight Olympic badminton players were disqualified from the competition Wednesday, accused of intentionally playing to lose in order to face easier opponents in future matches.

One Chinese player said she is quitting the sport because of it. CNN reports, "This is my last match," Yu Yang wrote on her microblog account late Wednesday. "Farewell Badminton World Federation, farewell my beloved badminton."

All four duos were charged by the federation with not doing their best to win a match and abusing or demeaning the sport, CNN reported.

While the Indonesian and South Korean pairs both unsuccessfully appealed the Federation's decision, the Chinese sporting authorities accepted the ruling and the country's head badminton coach apologized for the players' behavior.

And while highly controversial, badminton players aren't the first to be accused of playing a sport poorly for selfish reasons. It's happened in soccer and hockey as well.

Although the badminton match bracket is set up in a way that might tempt players to intentionally lose, is this an excuse to do so? Is this a good example for young players of a sport or would you be tempted to do so when under such pressure?

Harry E. Smith August 06, 2012 at 03:28 PM
To be the best, you've got to beat the best. The IOC got this right by kicking out these schemers. The Olympics is a SPORTING event, not a dirty business deal. Either play, or go home.


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