After the four women's pairs had qualified for the quarterfinals of the tournament, they began intentionally losing games in order to dictate a more favorable match-up in the next round.
The disqualified players included the world champions from China — Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang, as well as the bronze-medal favorites Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min Jung of South Korea.
So why in the world would they lose on purpose?
Basically, they wanted to avoid playing the 2nd best team in the world in the quarterfinals.
In Olympic badminton, there is a preliminary stage followed by a knockout stage. In the prelim stage, the teams are divided into four, four-team groups and play a round-robin. The top two teams from each group advance to an eight-team, bracket-style knockout tournament. In that knockout tournament, the team that came in 1st in Group A plays the team that came in 2nd in Group B, and so on.