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Shuttlecocks and scandal!
The badminton world was rocked by controversy on Tuesday when the Badminton World Federation (BWF) kicked eight female players out of the Olympics for failing to try their best.
Two teams from South Korea and one each from China and Indonesia were disqualified for purposely losing preliminary (non-medal) matches in order to receive a more favorable draw in the elimination rounds.
"We applaud the federation for having taken swift and decisive action," IOC spokesman Mark Adams told The Associated Press. "Such behavior is incompatible with the Olympic values."
I have some issues with this statement. Now, I'm not saying the players were showing good sportsmanship - they obviously weren't. And maybe the officials are right that they were "conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport" - although that does seem a tad over-dramatic.
But what exactly ARE these so-called Olympic values? We want to believe the Games are about the triumph of the human spirit, where competitors are celebrated for their herculean efforts... but how many steroid scandals will it take before we accept that many athletes are conditioned to go for the gold at any cost?
It seems a little hypocritical to keep heaping hate on these badminton players for their actions. Essentially, the IOC and BWF set up a format where players benefit from losing, and then had the nerve to be outraged when players try to lose.
Not very sporting of them.
This isn't the first time this week that an event's rules have seemed to fly in the face of the spirit of the competition. On Sunday, reigning gymnastics world champion Jordyn Wieber failed to make it into the all-around competition, despite having the fourth highest scores in the qualifying round.
Why? Because her teammates placed second and third - and each country can only send two athletes.
What this means is that one of the best gymnasts in the world won't get the chance to vie for the most coveted individual medal in her sport, simply because she has the bad luck to be on a team with two of the other best gymnasts in the world.
But that shouldn't matter to her, right? Because the Olympics are just about trying your best.
BTW - If you're curious what it looks like when badminton players throw a match, you can check out the highlights here.
Megan Sayers is the managing editor for ModernMom. Follow her on Twitter @MeganSayers