Chinese badminton player Yu Yang, who was disqualified from the doubles tournament at the Olympics on Wednesday, said she is quitting the sport after issuing a public apology on state television.
Yang was among the eight women's doubles player who were disqualified from the event by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) at the London Olympics, after being accused of throwing matches in a bid to secure more favourable draws in the next tournament.
"This is my last competition. Goodbye Badminton World Federation (BWF), goodbye my beloved badminton," Yu wrote on her Chinese Twitter-like micro blogging Tencent Weibo account. "We ... only chose to use the rules to abandon the match.
"This was only so as to be able to compete better in the second round of the knockout (stage). This is the first time the Olympics has changed the (event's format). Don't they understand the harm this has caused the athletes?," she wrote in another post.
"You have heartlessly shattered our dreams," said Yu. "It's that simple, not complicated at all. But this is unforgiveable."
The other players who were disqualified are South Korean pairs Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na, Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung, Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari of Indonesia and China's Wang Xiaoli.
Yang and Xiaoli were among the nation's star players who won last year's women's pairs badminton world championship.
Following her disqualification from the event, China's official press agency Xinhua cited Yang apologizing "to all the badminton fans and friends over yesterday's game, because we did not comply with the Olympic spirit, and did not deliver a match with our true level to the audience, the fans and the friends."
Li Yongbo, chief coach of the Chinese badminton team, admitted that the disgraceful behavior of his players reflected the shortcomings of the new regulations in the sport.
"I feel that no matter whether it is the rules or something else, that's no excuse," said Li. "The key point is we did not behave professionally as athletes and did not treat each match seriously.
"We didn't strive with all our might in the Olympic way. From that point of view we really didn't grasp this point thoroughly ... as chief coach I really feel I must say sorry to fans and viewers nationwide," Li told Xinhua.
Meanwhile, the controversy has generated arguments concerning the players' disqualification, on Chinese micro blogs. Many people voiced their support for the players and expressed sympathy, while some said that they deserved to be thrown out.
"They should certainly be punished but the burden should not fall on those two players. The trainer was the mastermind behind this. The players are only scapegoats," wrote one user on the Twitter-like Sina Weibo.
(With Inputs from Reuters)