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Aug. 1, 2012 at 11:10 PM
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Badminton pairs DQ'd for match-fixing

LONDON, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- The Badminton World Federation kicked some of the biggest stars of the sport out of the Olympics Wednesday for purposely trying to lose a match.

Eight players in all from the women's doubles tournament were expelled, and play went on without them despite the appeals that were filed on their behalf.

Fans at the badminton venue were stunned to see players in two doubles matches Tuesday hitting serves into the net and otherwise not giving a reasonable effort. All four teams involved in the matches had clinched spots in the quarterfinals, but the outcome of the matches they were playing would determine their next opponent.

Since it appeared to them that a loss would be more beneficial than a win, a loss became the goal and when the knowledgeable crowd became aware what was happening, boos rang out in Wembley Arena.

It did not take long Wednesday for the world governing of badminton to take action.

The world's top-ranked women's doubles team made up of China's Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang was disqualified. So were South Korea's Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung, who are ranked third in the world.

The teams of Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari of Indonesia and Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na of South Korea were also removed.

Officials said the players had been charged with violations of sections 4.5 and 4.16 in the federation's code of contact. One of those involves "not using one's best efforts to win a match." The other speaks of "conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport."

"We felt it was important to deal with this swiftly and ensure due process was taken in a way that was of the best interest to the players," BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund said.

The gravity of the move became obvious when the quarterfinals were held later Wednesday.

An entire half of the draw was altered by the disqualifications, giving teams from Russia, South Africa, Canada and Australia a chance for a medal.

Valeria Sorokina and Nina Vislova of Russia along with Canadians Alex Bruce and Michele Li eventually won quarterfinal matches and at least one of those teams will, indeed, win a medal.

The Chinese Olympic delegation also was investigating the Chinese players' conduct, China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

"The Chinese sports delegation take the incident in the women's badminton doubles very seriously," a team official said. "The Chinese Olympic Committee has always advocated the fostering of the Olympic spirit on the playing field as well as the spirit of fair and just competition."


Brazil favored heading into quarterfinals

LONDON, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- Danilo and Leandro Damiao scored in the first half Wednesday and Brazil downed New Zealand 3-0 to finish unbeaten in Olympic soccer group play.

Brazil will go into the quarterfinals as the heavy favorite to win the men's gold medal after Spain was knocked out of the tournament. The Brazilians will meet Honduras in the quarterfinals Saturday.

Spain had been shockingly eliminated even before it played its final group game Wednesday against Morocco, a game that wound up in an 0-0 tie. The Spanish did not score a goal in its three group games.

Egypt wound up second to Brazil in their group thanks to a 3-1 win over Belarus and will face Japan in the quarterfinals.

Japan finished on top of Group D after a scoreless tie with Honduras. That result was good enough for both teams to advance.

A 0-0 tie between South Korea and Gabon sent the Koreans into the quarterfinals as well. Mexico reached the knockout round for the first time since 1996 by winning Group B with a 1-0 victory over Switzerland.

Britain led Group A following a 3-1 decision over Uruguay. Senegal was runner-up to Britain and thus earned a quarterfinal berth against South Korea.


Bolden, Fortt bolt from Penn State

STAMFORD, Conn., Aug. 1 (UPI) -- Penn State quarterback Rob Bolden will head to Louisiana State, LSU Coach Les Miles said Wednesday, becoming the fourth player to leave the scandalized program.

Bolden, who played 10 games behind center for the Nittany Lions last season, became the latest PSU player to bolt after the program was hit with harsh NCAA sanctions following the child sex abuse conviction of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky..

Linebacker Khairi Fortt is heading to University of California, the Stamford Advocate reported Wednesday.

Bolden and Fortt follow star running back Silas Redd and safety Tim Buckley out the door. Redd announced Tuesday he was leaving to the play for Southern California, while Buckley is transferring to North Carolina State.

The NCAA sanctions allow players to transfer without any loss of eligibility.

Bolden went 53-of-135 through the air for 685 yards, two touchdowns and seven interceptions last season.

"He is talented and he will be given every opportunity to compete," Miles said of Bolden, who is likely to become the Tigers' No. 2 quarterback behind starter Zach Mettenberger.


Beach volleyball stars survive lost set

LONDON, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh-Jennings lost the first set of their Olympic career Wednesday before completing beach volleyball group play unbeaten.

The American team has won the last two Olympic titles and did not lose a set while doing so.

May-Treanor and Walsh-Jennings had to rally from 3 points down in the second set of their match Monday, but in Wednesday's contest they suffered a 21-17 setback to start their matchup with sisters Stefanie and Doris Schwaiger of Austria.

The United States duo, already assured of a spot in the knockout round, then blitzed the Austrian team 21-8 in the second. The third and final set of a beach volleyball match is played to just 15 points and the Americans got to that total in only 12 minutes while winning 15-10.

May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings thus finished 3-0 in Group C.

Sixteen teams will begin the knockout round Friday, with the quarterfinals set for Sunday.

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