Indonesia lifts ban on Olympic badminton pair

Jakarta — The Indonesian Badminton Association lifted a ban Saturday on its leading women’s doubles pair over the play-to-lose scandal at the London Olympics.

Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari were kicked out of the games along with the Chinese world champions and two South Korean teams for trying to deliberately lose group matches to gain an easier path through the later stages.

The association, known as PBSI, banned the pair and their coach Paulus Firman in September for four months from all national and international tournaments. The suspension was reduced to three months on Oct. 22 after the players expressed remorse for their actions.

“They well aware of their mistake and eager to defend the red and white,” PBSI secretary general Koesdarto Pramono said, referring to the country’s national flag. “We believed it will not happen again in the future and they deserve to get our support.”

He said Polii and Jauhari have been training during their three months out in preparation for the Yonex-Sunrise Super-series in Hong Kong from Nov. 20-25.

Indonesia has called for future Olympics to return to a straight knockout tournament to prevent any manipulation of the draw. The Badminton World Federation will discuss future formats later this month.

The South Korean teams had their lifetime bans reduced on appeal to six months by their badminton officials. Yu Yang, half of China’s banned team and a 2008 Olympic gold medalist, decided to retire.[]

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