Eight badminton players have been expelled from the Olympic Games as the festering issue of draw rigging has finally erupted on the biggest sporting stage, and although it will all eventually blow over, it is sure to leave a sizable scar.
After expecting to see the best of badminton, a crowd of 4,800 packed in Wembley Arena were left disgusted after watching four women's doubles pairs deliberately throwing their matches to secure a better run to the medal rounds.
The crowd was treated with disdain as the Chinese, South Korean and Indonesian players sprayed hopeless shots into the net and beyond the lines. Their antics were also beamed around the globe to a disbelieving audience.
However the badminton world had been expecting it. Players and coaches lamented a culture of manipulation that had been allowed to take hold of the professional tour for years. The only shock, one player said, was the teams had the gall to do it at the Olympics.
“There’s always been talk of China working out who wins before, if their teams are playing each other or set to play each other,” Marc Zweiber, Germany’s singles player said.
"Korea did something similar in a Thomas Cup event before," he added, referring to the national team-based event.
"There has been talk the whole season that the Chinese team have fixed matches. I don't feel the BWF (Badminton World Federation) does anything to solve it. I think they need to do more."
Four pairs were disqualified by the BWF on Wednesday; they were told that they needed to take a strong stance against conduct “clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport”.
The players thrown out were China's duo Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli, two South Korean pairs Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na and Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung, as well as Indonesia’s Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari.
The sport clearly needs to repair its battered image but an International Olympic Committee spokesman said badminton's place on the Games program would be safe.
But even as the sanctions were being handed down, coaches and team officials said they would have considered using the same underhand tactics with Olympic medals on the line.
Setting off the chain of events that ended with eight players being kicked out of the games was a Danish pair. They had scored a surprise win over second seeds Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei of China in the women's preliminary round.