Exclusive: Chinese Taipei athlete lodges formal appeal against Olympic election exclusion
Wednesday, 29 August 2012
August 29 - Mu-yen Chu, one of the athletes controversially disqualified from the recent election for places on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes' Commission, has formally appealed against his exclusion, claiming the affair has "damaged" his social image and professional reputation.
Chu (pictured above) , an Olympic taekwondo gold medallist representing Chinese Taipei, had his candidacy withdrawn by the IOC following an allegation that he may have handed out lollipops to promote his candidature – an allegation he denies.
Koji Murofushi of Japan, a gold medal-winning hammer thrower, was also disqualified over alleged breaches of strict rules governing campaigning ahead of the vote.
The exclusions caused a stir in the last days of the London 2012 Olympics, partly because both affected athletes polled enough votes to have won places on the commission.
Murofushi's disqualification was widely seen, moreover, as a setback for Tokyo's bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.
In a letter to Anita DeFrantz, chairperson of the Athletes' Commission election committee, dated August 23 and copied to other IOC notables, Chu wrote: "In my capacity as an Olympian: 2004 gold medallist, and 2008 bronze medalist in taekwondo, and also a candidate in the recent Athletes' Commission election, I hereby lodge a formal appeal to the Election Committee against procedural injustice and groundless accusations.
"My candidacy was revoked only after the vote count, on a groundless charge that I breached the rules by 'handing out lollipops' as put forth in your letter of July 26, 2012, and also for 'continuously breaching the Rules of Conduct'.
"The accusations were not accompanied by proof of any real object, or photographs of the act.
"Moreover, no name of the accuser or witness was ever provided...
"Reliable sources told me that I ranked third in the vote count.
"If the Election Committee had actual proof of my violations, you should have warned athletes who voted for me between July 26 and August 8, 2012, or simply disqualified me before the vote count, which is a common practice...
"As the protagonist, I hereby appeal your decision and request that evidence of my "infringement of the Rule of Conduct" be supplied.
"I am currently teaching at our National Sports University.
"The ungrounded accusation and unjust result has not only damaged my social image, my professional reputation, but also my faith in such venerable establishments as the IOC and its Athletes' Commission."
According to the IOC, the appeals window for this election runs until September 3.
Once this window has closed, the IOC Session can hold a postal vote to elect the four new Athletes' Commission members as IOC members.
Chu's appeal means, presumably, that this process is likely to be delayed somewhat.
Following the two athletes' disqualifications, it was announced that skeet shooter Danka Barteková of Slovakia, Australian rower James Tomkins, swimmer Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe and French canoeist Tony Estanguet had been elected to the commission.
August 2012: IOC Athletes' Commission election takes new twist as emerges Japanese Olympic Committee warned
August 2012: Exclusive - Chinese Taipei "implores" IOC President Rogge to fully investigate "ungrounded" lollipop allegations
August 2012: David Owen - Let lollipops and a human kangaroo be reasons for relaxing IOC election rules
August 2012: Exclusive - IOC delays confirmation of new athlete members as human kangaroo joins lollipops as bone of contention
August 2012: Lollipop allegation costs candidate chance of becoming IOC member