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Disgraced Chinese badminton player quits sport

Disgraced Chinese badminton player Yu Yang has quit the sport after allegations she deliberately tried to lose an Olympic match. She was among eight women's doubles players disqualified for match throwing on Wednesday.

Yu announced her decision to quit the sport on her Weibo, or microblog, late on Wednesday, saying her dreams had been "heartlessly shattered."

"This is my last time competing. Goodbye Badminton World Federation (BWF), goodbye my beloved badminton," she wrote. "You have heartlessly shattered our dreams."

Yu, who won a gold medal the in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, was among eight women's double players expelled from the Olympics by the Badminton World Federation on Wednesday. It is considered the first mass disqualification in Olympic history.

Alongside two pairs from South Korea and one from Indonesia, Yu and her teammate Wang Xiaoli have been charged with "not using one's best efforts to win a match." It's believed they were attempting to throw the game in order to secure more favorable draws later in the tournament.

Their conduct prompted angry spectators at London's Wembley Arena to shout abuse and jeer as the teams appeared to deliberately serve into the net or hit the shuttlecock long or wide.

Apology expected

According to China's state news agency Xinhua, Chinese officials on Thursday demanded that the national players offer a public apology for the incident.

"The delegation has already severely criticized and educated the responsible badminton leaders, team and relevant players and demanded they profoundly recognize the seriousness and the harmfulness of this matter, reflect deeply on it, publicly apologize and resolutely prevent such incidents from happening again," Xinhua quoted an unnamed spokesman as saying.

China's head badminton coach Li Yongbo has already apologized for the incident, saying he was wholly to blame.

"As head coach, I owe the supporters of Chinese badminton and the Chinese TV audiences an apology," the Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying in London on Wednesday. "Chinese players failed to demonstrate the fine tradition and fighting spirit of the national team. It's me to blame."

Although all eight disqualified athletes will no longer be able to compete in the Olympics, the BWF announced Wednesday that they could still participate in future tournaments.

ccp/mz (AFP, Reuters, AP)