Throwing a Match... Strategy or Silly?

Eight women badminton players have been disqualified from the London Summer Olympics following reports the four teams of two purposely tried to lose matches to in order to get more favourable spots in the tournament. 

Two teams from South Korea, one from China and another from Indonesia have been punished 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" as announced by the Badminton World Federation. Reports suggest the South Korean and Indonesian teams will file an appeal. 

Tuesday night spectators at the arena booed the performances of the ladies after it became clear neither team was trying to win. Teams claim the introduction of a round-robin format rather than the traditional knockout stage is what triggered teams to strategize their game play. From simple errors to a lack of attack, the longest rally of the first set was four strokes. After China threw the first game, the others followed suit prompting former players to speak out: "It's a circus match" said 2004 singles Gold medalist Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia. Lin Dan, the No.2 ranked singles player said it will "damage the sport, especially for the audience".  Refunds will not be given out to guests who attended the event. 

So here it is; when someone throws a wrench in your format causing the whole system to be changed, who is at fault? If a round-robin format clearly gives advantages to those who can work out the kinks, should the player be penalized for being smart enough to do so? Obviously it effects the credibility of the sport, so why did they change it? 

I'd like to know what you think... Is throwing a form of cheating? Would you do it if you could? Once the system is flawed, the whole sport is in my opinion, so where does badminton go from here?


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