8 Olympic athletes banned for trying to lose

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8 Olympic athletes banned for trying to lose

From Comcast SportsNet
LONDON (AP) -- Eight female badminton doubles players were disqualified Wednesday from the London Olympics after trying to lose matches to receive a more favorable place in the tournament. The Badminton World Federation announced its ruling after investigating two teams from South Korea and one each from China and Indonesia. It punished them for "not using one's best efforts to win a match" and "conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport" in matches Tuesday night. "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." Erick Thohir, the head of Indonesia's Olympic team, told the AP that the Indonesian team will appeal. The BWF said South Korea had also appealed. The competition was to continue later Wednesday. It was unclear if four eliminated teams would be placed into the quarterfinals or if the competition would restart at the semifinal stage. Thohir accused Chinese players of losing on purpose in the past. "China has been doing this so many times and they never get sanctioned by the BWF," Thohir said. "On the first game yesterday when China did it, the BWF didn't do anything. If the BWF do something on the first game and they say you are disqualified, it is a warning for everyone." IOC Vice President Craig Reedie, the former head of the international badminton federation, welcomed the decision. "Sport is competitive," Reedie told the AP. "If you lose the competitive element, then the whole thing becomes a nonsense. "You cannot allow a player to abuse the tournament like that, and not take firm action. So good on them." The eight disqualified players are world doubles champions Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang of China and their South Korean opponents Jung Kyun-eun and Kim Ha-na, along with South Korea's Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung and Indonesia's Meiliana Jauhari and Greysia Polii. The players went before a disciplinary hearing Wednesday, a day after spectators at the arena booed their performance after it became clear they were deliberately trying to lose. International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge had been at the venue but had left shortly before the drama unfolded. The IOC said it would allow badminton's ruling body to handle the matter. Paul Deighton, chief executive officer of the London organizers, said there would be no refunds for the evening's badminton program. Chairman Sebastian Coe called what happened "depressing," adding "who wants to sit through something like that?" Teams blamed the introduction of a round-robin stage rather than a straight knockout tournament as the main cause of the problem. In the round-robin format, losing one game can lead to an easier matchup in the next round. The Chinese players were accused of leading the way by deliberately losing a game. This led to other teams behaving in a similar way to try to force an easier quarterfinal. At one stage, both teams appeared to be trying to lose. Wang and Yu and their opponents were booed loudly by the crowd after dumping serves into the net and making simple errors, such as hitting the shuttlecock wide. The longest rally in their first game was only four strokes. The umpire warned them, and tournament referee Torsten Berg spoke to all four players but it had little effect. At one stage, Berg showed a black card, which usually means disqualification, but the game continued. Eventually, the Chinese women lost 21-14, 21-11 and both pairs were jeered off the court. One of the world's top male players, 2004 Olympic singles champion Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia, called the situation a "circus match." The teams had already qualified for knockout round, but the result ensured that the top-seeded Wang and Yu would have avoided playing their No. 2-seeded Chinese teammates until the final. The problem was repeated in the next women's doubles between South Korea's Ha and Kim Min-jung and their Indonesian opponents. Both teams were also warned for deliberately losing points in a match the South Koreans won 18-21, 21-14, 21-12. China's Lin Dan, the No. 2-ranked men's singles player, said through an interpreter the sport is going to be damaged. "Especially for the audience," he said before the disqualifications were announced. "This is definitely not within the Olympic spirit. But like I said before, it's not one-sided. Whoever sets the rule should make it knockout so whoever doesn't try will just leave the Olympics." Beijing badminton silver medalist Gail Emms said the matches were embarrassing to watch. "It was absolutely shocking," she said. "The crowds were booing and chanting 'Off, off, off.'"

Klay credits teammates, Warriors system for historic 60-point night

Klay credits teammates, Warriors system for historic 60-point night

OAKLAND – Klay Thompson’s historic night was without pretense or secrets. No trickery, no gimmickry, no sleight-of-hand from him or the coaching staff or anyone else affiliated with the Warriors.

It was a fabulous shooter playing basic basketball at its finest, and it was easier to recognize this 14 hours after the fact.

“It’s the firepower we have on this team,” Thompson said Tuesday afternoon, in the wake of scoring 60 points Monday night as the Warriors routed Indiana.

[RELATED: Mychal Thompson's message to Klay: 'You should have had 70']

“You can’t really help off any of our guys,” the sixth-year guard added. “Everyone is capable of having a huge night. It’s also the system I play in, too. It’s constant motion, it’s free flowing, and I’m always on the move. It’s just tough on a defender. It wears you down having to chase around a guy for 40 minutes.”

The Pacers didn’t chase Thompson for 40 minutes. They didn’t have to. He did his damage in 29 minutes, leaving the Pacers with nothing but humiliating defeat and floor burns on their feet.

“It was an unbelievable performance that you really didn’t see coming until it happened,” teammate Stephen Curry said. “He started off the game hot, obviously, but to stay that consistent, getting it from the free throw line, the 3-point line, midrange, layups, it was an ultimate clinic.

“It was as entertaining to watch on the highlights after as it was live.”

Thompson ran and ran and ran, and the Pacers couldn’t keep up. Poor Monta Ellis had no chance. Thompson also annihilated Rodney Stuckey and C.J. Miles and even left premier defender Paul George – the last-chance Klay-stopper – clutching air.

It’s nearly impossible to cool a hot shooter when he doesn’t need the ball, and Thompson needed only 11 dribbles to get 60 points.

[RELATED: After Klay scored 60 points, Warriors owner Joe Lacob had one question]

“That’s amazing, 11 dribbles and 60 points,” coach Steve Kerr said.

Kerr noted that Thompson is at his best when playing off the ball, hence the phrase “off guard.” Thompson is a classic, in the mold of Ray Allen and a few others that rely on movement and shooting strokes from above.

“That’s been my MO since I’ve been in this league,” Thompson said. “To mimic guys like Reggie Miller, Ray Allen, Rip Hamilton, Chris Mullin – guys who really use their teammates to set themselves up and did it for decades in this league.”

When Thompson’s skills are blended with those of point guard Stephen Curry as well as forwards Draymond Green and Kevin Durant – all of whom excellent playmakers, comfortable with the ball in their hands – it’s downright combustible.

“When you play with the group that Klay is playing with, the defense can’t exactly cheat,” Kerr explained. “It’s hard to cheat off Kevin or Steph, so it’s just a good mix. But there’s a level of confidence and maybe a lack of consciousness that Klay has that very few players possess. Once he gets going, he doesn’t seem to think and it benefits him pretty well.”

That’s the game reduced to its simplest level. Run, catch and shoot. Elemental, particularly when the shots are going in.
 

About TOMBOY

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About TOMBOY

Equal opportunities and mutual respect for women and girls stand among the most hotly contested social issues in America. The divisions that exist affect the development of confidence, disturb corporate boardrooms and even disrupt presidential politics. In the testosterone-heavy sports world, the journey of the female athlete is often discouraging, and despite progress achieved during the Title IX era, gender equity in athletics has a long way to go.

In TOMBOY, CSN explores female participation in organized sports and the challenges faced at every level. From the obstacles that young girls encounter at the recreational stage, to the stereotypes, language issues and cultural disparities that follow, and ultimately the insufficient media coverage and compensation that afflicts elite professional athletes seeking full recognition for their talents.

TOMBOY presents an unadulterated account heard through the voices of many of the world’s most prominent female athletes, broadcasters and sports executives:

Ann Meyers Drysdale - basketball Hall of Famer/NBC Olympics commentator
Hilary Knight - hockey four-time World Champion/two-time Olympic silver medalist Tobin Heath - soccer World Cup champion/two-time Olympic gold medalist
Nadine Angerer - soccer World Cup champion/2013 FIFA World Player of the Year
Angela Hucles - soccer two-time Olympic gold medalist
Monica Abbott - softball “Million Dollar Arm” pitcher/Olympic silver medalist
Miesha Tate - UFC bantamweight champion
Kim Ng - MLB Senior VP of Operations

TOMBOY is a multiplatform documentary project encompassing a one-hour television special premiering nationally on January 20, 2017. Weekly content released through CSN’s websites and social media platforms accompany a series of related podcasts and forums designed to foster public engagement and dialogue.

Quotes from TOMBOY:

“We want to have the best of both worlds. I want to be able to play with Barbies, I want to be able to play dress up, and I also want to be able to go outside and pitch a 77 mile-per-hour softball.”
- Monica Abbott, National Pro Fastpitch “Million Dollar Arm”

“When I was five years old, my grandma asked me what do you want to be when you grow up? And I told her I want to be a hockey player. She said, oh, girls don’t play hockey.”
- Hilary Knight, USA Hockey four-time World Champion

“I just seem to identify more with the male characteristics… of not limiting yourself, and doing whatever it is that makes you happy, following your heart and not segregating yourself based on your sex.”
- UFC Bantamweight Champion Miesha Tate

“There’s nothing weak about being strong. Whether it’s strong arms, or strong body or strong mind – and that strong can be really sexy too. But we need to continue to change that message, because that’s not the message that I hear.”
- Former USA Soccer player and current NBC commentator Danielle Slaton

“I see hope, and I see opportunity, and it is within arm’s reach. I’m tired, but I will never rest. Women will never rest.”
- National Pro Fastpitch champion Emily Allard