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Former World No.1 shuttler Ye Zhaoying reveals she was asked to lose 2000 Olympic semi-final

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Former World No.1 shuttler Ye Zhaoying reveals she was asked to lose 2000 Olympic semi-final
Former World Champion Ye Zhaoying has made a shocking revelation against the Chinese Olympic Committee, saying that she was asked to lose the 2000 Sydney Olympics semifinal against the eventual champion Gong Zhichao for China to have a better chance to bag a gold medal.

Zhaoying reckons that it was a conspiracy against the Denmark women’s singles player Camilla Martin in China’s pursuit of a gold medal.

“They told me it was important that no one could see that I was losing deliberately,” Zhaoying said while talking to TV 2 Sport.

“You feel so powerless because it’s just you against the whole system. The Olympic Games are almost a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for an athlete, and it feels so desperately tragic when you have to throw it all away. But I’m just one person, and there was nothing I could do against the system.

“If I had won my semi-final and then gone on to lose to Camilla in the final, all of China would have considered me a traitor. My previous victories would have been meaningless, had I not won gold. Everything was about the Olympics,” she added.

“The only thought was to ensure the country’s success. The Olympics is the most important tournament for China. Not just for the players, but especially for the coaches and top management of the Chinese Sports Association. They told me that it must not be too obvious that I lost on purpose. I was also not allowed to make Gong Zhichao tired and I was going to lose in two sets. The match was not allowed to go to the third game, because then Zhichao would be too exhausted,” Zhaoying revealed.

In a press release, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) said it “can’t comment on specific details related to this historic incident” but that measures were in place to combat corruption.

“Accusations of this nature are something we consider very seriously,” said BWF president Thomas Lund in the statement.

“Match manipulation of any kind is not tolerated in badminton. We are committed to protecting the integrity of the sport by putting in place very robust measures for monitoring and investigating acts of match manipulation.”

Lund said the federation needed to remain “vigilant” in its attempt to keep the sport clean, while encouraging individuals to come forward through the BWF’s ‘whisteblower’ system.

The interview with the Chinese player was conducted in Malaga, Spain, where Ye lives in exile with her husband, former Chinese soccer star Hao Haidong.

— ENDS —




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