This Olympics has been marred by dishonorableness of a certain type: call it “strategic losing.”
The most widely-reported case was the Chinese, Indonesian, and South Korean women badminton teams obviously throwing some preliminary matches in order to secure a better draw later in the tournament. They were expelled from the Olympics.
Another involved Algeria’s Taoufik Makhloufi, who quit his 800m heat, apparently because he knew he wouldn’t win it and wanted to save himself for the next day’s 1500m finals. The Olympic authorities kicked Makhloufi out of the games temporarily, but reinstated him when a doctor supported his claim of a knee injury. The “injury” must have healed miraculously, since Makhloufi won the 1500m the next day.
A third case involved a British cyclist who deliberately crashed after a bad start. By doing so, he got a restart and ended up winning the gold. A fourth case involved Japan’s women soccer team, who had been instructed by their coach not to win a preliminary contest against South Africa, allowing the team to stay in Cardiff and avoid the stress of travel. Neither of these two cases drew disciplinary action.
Question: Is it okay to strategically lose?