The 2012 Olympic badminton scandal : match-fixing, code of conduct documents, and women’s sport / Kelsey Blair

Blair, Kelsey

At the 2012 Olympic Games, eight badminton players were disqualified from the women’s doubles tournament for intentionally losing matches in the group stage. The incident marks the largest mass disqualification of athletes from multiple countries for match-fixing at the Olympic Games in the twenty-first century. Significantly, it is also the first time that female athletes have been disqualified from a Summer Olympic Games for match-fixing not related to betting or gambling. This essay weaves together two interdependent arguments. First, it is suggested that the incident can be understood through the lens of three separate but interconnected issues: the history of match-fixing, the growth of code of conduct documents in sports, and the regulation of women’s bodies in sports. Second, it is argued that the athletes’ gender is a critical element of the incident. The primary aims of the article are to position the 2012 badminton scandal as a key moment in the history of match-fixing and to suggest that the incident is important for future research and policy creation.

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