The Badminton Korea Association (BKA) has applied to the Korean Olympic Committee (KOC) for a lifting of the suspension for the players who were sanctioned after the match-throwing scandal at the London Olympics.
“We have asked the KOC to lift the suspensions on the players,” said Korean National Team Head Coach Kim Joong Soo. “They have been prevented from playing international tournaments for four months now and it is the opinion of the BKA that the ordeal they have already been through is sufficient.
“If it were merely up to the BKA, the players would already have been re-instated to the National Team. However, now that the decision lies with the KOC, it’s more complicated. For one thing, they won’t reverse a decision like this until at least three months after it is made. Also, they won’t convene a meeting only for one sport so we don’t really know when they’ll meet to hear the BKA’s petition.”
In fact, the BKA had already entered the names of one of the affected pairs, Jung Kyung Eun and Kim Ha Na, on their list of players for the upcoming Korea Open Superseries Premier, which would be their first international tournament since the Olympic Games.
However, the two players’ inclusion on the list appears to have been the product of some confusion within the National Team. Coach Kim confirmed that unless the KOC meets and hands down a decision soon, Jung and Kim will have to be withdrawn from the event.
The four non-Korean players who were disqualified in London – Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang of China and Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari of Indonesia – all already returned to international competition last month. The Indonesians were originally punished by their national body while there has been no evidence of any internal sanction affecting the Chinese players.
Kim and Jung and Kim Min Jung have all played in domestic tournaments this autumn while Ha Jung Eun has not competed since London, although she is still officially a member of the Daekyo pro team. The Korean players were hit with a one-year suspension in late August but it was later commuted to a one-year suspension from the National Team and they have been allowed to compete within Korea for their pro teams.
Kim Joong Soo took over as the Head Coach when his predecessor Sung Han Kook, along with Coach Kim Moon Soo, was given a four-year suspension from coaching the national team. Kim will hold onto the position as provisional Head Coach until at least early February, when the entire BKA membership is overhauled.