Bans cut for S. Korean Olympic badminton players

South Korean badminton authorities on Wednesday reduced bans for four players accused of trying to lose matches at the London Olympics from two years to six months after an appeal.

Jung Kyung-Eun, Kim Ha-Na, Ha Jung-Eun and Kim Min-Jung will not be able to play domestic and international competitions during that time, Badminton Korea Association said.

The four said they were only following the orders of coach Sung Han-Kook and assistant Kim Moon-Soo. Their lifetime bans were slashed to two years.

Eight women's doubles players, from South Korea, Indonesia and China were disqualified from the Games for trying to lose matches in order to secure a more favourable draw in the next phase.

The scandal prompted Chinese badminton star Yu Yang to quit the sport.

Badminton World Federation president Kang Young-Joong has brushed off suggestions the bad publicity may have put the sport's Olympic future at risk.

South Korea earned one badminton bronze medal in London -- its worst performance in the sport at any Olympics.

A picture taken on July 31, 2012 shows Kim Ha Na (L) and Jung Kyung-Eun of South Korea at the London 2012 Olympic Games in London on July 31, 2012. South Korean badminton authorities on Wednesday reduced bans for four players accused of trying to lose matches at the London Olympics from two years to six months after an appeal.