Disgraced Chinese badminton duo honoured despite disqualification at London 2012
Monday, 07 January 2013
January 7 - Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli, the Chinese women's doubles badminton pair who were disqualified from the London 2012 Olympics after a match-fixing scandal, have received an award from China's General Administration of Sports.
The controversial world champions were named on a list of 100 athletes to win the honour from the nation's sports governing body, despite being among eight players - two others from Indonesia and four from South Korea - kicked-out of London 2012 for attempting to drop round-robin games in a bid to secure a favourable quarterfinal draw.
Their coach Li Yongbo was also one of 104 coaches to win an award for Chinese world champions.
Yu (pictured top, right), 26, who had won the Olympic gold medal at Beijing 2008 with her then partner Du Jing, claimed she would retire following the scandal, but resumed playing for the China Open in Shanghai, after her suspension was lifted.
She and Wang (pictured top, left) went onto to win the women's doubles at that Super Series Premier event, as the second-seeded pair beat Japan's Miyuki Maeda and Satoko Suetsuna, who were seeded sixth, 21-19, 14-7 after they retired from the match.
All the players involved in the scandal have been cleared to resume competition, with the exception of the two duos from South Korea who remain barred from their national team.
Despite the match-fixing disgrace in London, Chinese sports officials emphasised that the honour medals were established for Chinese world champions, including winners of the Olympics, World Championships and World Cup in the year, as well as and their coaches.
Yu and Wang helped China regain the Uber Cup in May last year, meaning the pair claimed the title as world champions.
Chinese badminton was the biggest winner in the annual awards, with 14 players and 21 coaches receiving honours after 2012 saw the nation's badminton teams winning both the Thomas and Uber Cups and completing an unprecedented clean sweep of gold medals to end their controversial London 2012 tournament.
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November 2012: Disgraced Chinese doubles pair win first tournament since disqualified from London 2012
September 2012: Chinese coach hits out at BWF over reaction to London 2012 match rigging scandal