sport

Badminton format tweaked

The Badminton World Federation will retain the controversial round-robin element of their Olympic competitions, but in an amended form.

The London 2012 badminton tournament was overshadowed by a match-fixing scandal which led to four women's doubles pairs being disqualified.

A pair from China, two from South Korea and another from Indonesia were thrown out of the competition for deliberately trying to lose their final group games to manipulate the draw.

Following a council meeting in Bangkok, the BWF have decided to continue with the format for Rio 2016 but a second draw will be made after the conclusion of the group games.

The players finishing second in the groups will be drawn out to determine who they will face in the knockout phase. The group winners will be given fixed positions equivalent to seedings.

BWF secretary general Thomas Lund said: "This will eliminate any player's thoughts about actively trying to lose a match or matches, irrespective of other match results.

"Such a draw process can easily and effectively be made just after all group matches have been concluded.

"This will certainly optimise the competition format for the Rio Olympic Games in 2016."

As well as condemnation of the players' actions in London, there was also widespread criticism of the role of coaches in the affair.

The BWF have concluded there are "not sufficient grounds" to take further action against any coaches, and nor is it "legally feasible", but their code of conduct will be tightened.

Lund said: "The BWF has strengthened its code of conduct making it explicit that any coach or person within the entourage who encourages players to breach the players' code of conduct will be sanctioned by the BWF disciplinary committee."

The BWF have also announced an intention to trial the use of line-call technology.