By Sportswriter Lu Yuchen
SHENYANG, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- Seven players from the Beijing women's 7s-rugby team on Saturday was banned from this year's international matches for their match throwing in Tuesday's final at the 12th Chinese National Games.
"This is a serious violation of the sporting spirit and sportsmanship, damaging the images of both the National Games and the national sports, and casting shadows on the rugby in China," said China Rugby Association(CRA) in a statement.
The CRA also suspended the Beijing team coaches for three matches. Seven on-court players were suspended for two matches. The substitutes were suspended for one match.
Besides, the CRA deprived Beijing team leader Zheng Hongjun and head coach Jiang Xuming of the national team coaching titles.
Both Zheng and Jiang were considered holding main responsibility of the match throwing.
Furthermore, the Beijing team was fined 20,000 yuan (about 3,300 U.S. dollars).
General Administration of Sport of China and the organizing committee separately circulated a notice of criticism toward the CRA and rugby's jury committee.
The ongoing National Games was rocked on Tuesday when the Beijing team threw the women's 7s rugby final against the Shandong team.
Beijing had been widely favored for the women's gold in rugby's debut at the National Games, but Shangdong scored two tries to jump 10-0 up soon after the start.
The Spanish umpire awarded Shandong another try in the second half, a decision which Beijing players claimed "wrong". The Beijing players then refused to play and stood still on the pitch, only to see their opponents score easily and eventually win by a scoreline of 71-0.
Beijing coach Jiang alleged the umpire "biased" in favor of the Shandong team.
The rugby's jury committee quickly defended the umpire and stripped the Beijing team of Sportsmanship Award qualification.
"We've come to the conclusion that the umpire's ruling is fair and correct after our review of the match videos," the committee said in a statement.
The Beijing delegation and women's 7s-rugby team made an apology to the public on Tuesday night, saying that their behavior was "inappropriate" and "tarnished the images of rugby and the National Games".
The Beijing delegation also ordered both Zheng and Jiang to step down.