x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Lin will not be punished for final no-show at Singapore Open

World No 2 complains of upset stomach but player says he received no team orders for pulling out against fellow Chinese Chen.

SINGAPORE // Badminton officials said Lin Dan, the world No 2, was unlikely to face further action after he controversially pulled out of the Singapore Open, angering suspicious fans.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) said there was no evidence Lin faked the bout of gastric flu which prompted his late withdrawal from the men's singles decider against Chen Jin, his Chinese teammate.

Fans booed and some stormed out of Singapore Indoor Arena after Lin appeared on court to announce he was not going to play, which follows a string of similar incidents involving all-Chinese matches.

However, a tournament doctor confirmed Lin's illness and nothing more could be done until the federation receives the referee's official report in about two weeks, S Selvam, a BWF spokesman, said.

"I won't like to comment on the past trend but for this, the tournament doctor has confirmed that he is ill and can't play," he said.

The illness was Lin's second during the Singapore Open after he also missed last week's pre-tournament press conference with an upset stomach.

The badminton great, who is the only player to complete the "Golden Grand Slam" of the sport's eight biggest titles, said he fell ill after Saturday's hard-fought semi-final with Denmark's Peter Gade.

"I had a tough match against Peter and drank too much cold water. I went to bed not feeling too good and in the morning consulted team doctor," he said.

Singapore newspapers called it a "disgrace" and "The badminton final that wasn't", speculating that Lin had been ordered not to play to save his energies for the tough season ahead. Reports recalled that in 2003, a tearful Lin said a Chinese team ruling existed that when teammates play each other, whoever loses the first set must throw the match.

Lin denied secret orders were behind his withdrawal. But he admitted that for China, the team was more important than individual players.

"I feel the team's interest is just like a country's interest - it's bigger than the individual," he said, according to the Straits Times. "In China, we're about team interest."