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South Korea coach walks tightrope after scandal

03 August 2012, 10:46

London - South Korea's head badminton coach Sung Han-kook faces a dressing down on his return from the Olympics after four of his players were sent home in disgrace for throwing matches, local media reported on Friday.

The news agency Yonhap called for a tough-line stance, asking why Sung had apparently escaped punishment and why no apologies were forthcoming.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) ordered South Korea, China and Indonesia to investigate four women's doubles pairs who tried to throw matches in London on Tuesday.

Koreans Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na, and Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung were sent home for attempting to lose to gain favourable draws in the knockout stages.

Sung, however, lived to fight another day, the Korean Olympic Committee (KOC) arguing that someone had to coach for the remainder of the Games.

The head of the country's Olympic delegation said, however, that officials would meet to discuss possible sanctions against the coach.

"After the end of the Olympics we will investigate the exact extent of Sung's involvement," Lee Kee-heung told Yonhap. "But there are still matches left to play in London."

Yonhap noted that Chinese player Yu Yang and head coach Li Yongbo had appeared on state television to apologise for their part in the scandal.

Sung initially launched a scathing attack on the Chinese, blaming them for starting the scandal and giving Korea no choice but to follow suit.

His remarks came after the world's top pair of Yu and Wang Xiaoli lost to Jung and Kim.

Two days later and acutely aware he was walking a tightrope, Sung adopted a more contrite tone.

"I don't think I can avoid responsibility in this," he said while continuing to blame the Chinese.

"They took a look at the possible (knockout) bracket and decided to lose to our team on purpose."

- Reuters


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