Exclusive: IOC may have changed mind over lollipop athlete
Friday, 31 August 2012
August 31 - The body which recommended that Mu-yen Chu be withdrawn from the recent election for places on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes' Commission initially decided that there was not enough evidence to exclude him, insidethegames understands.
According to a senior IOC member, it was only following a second stage in the proceedings of the IOC Athletes' Commission election committee – a deliberation not attended by all committee members – that the body's stance shifted.
This second step in the process, in the IOC member's view, effectively changed the decision of the full committee without all of its members being present or hearing the evidence presented.
The assertions raise yet more questions about a process that saw Chu, a taekwondo gold medallist from Chinese Taipei, and another athlete, Koji Murofushi of Japan, disqualified in controversial circumstances from an election in which both polled enough votes to win places on the commission.
One of the allegations raised against Chu was that he may have handed out lollipops to promote his candidature – an allegation he denies.
The IOC's Executive Board approved the committee's recommendation in London on August 11.
An unconfirmed suggestion has reached insidethegames, though, that the board – which now has a member from Chinese Taipei in the shape of boxing's Ching-Kuo Wu – may have been divided on the issue.
Chu recently tried to lodge a formal appeal against his exclusion, claiming the affair had "damaged" his social image and professional reputation, as well as his faith in "such venerable establishments as the IOC".
However, he has now been informed that the decision is "not appealable to the IOC".
Instead, he has been directed to the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Time is short though, as any appeal must be lodged within 21 days of receipt of the original decision.
Posts on the Athletes' Commission are much coveted, in part because those who hold them generally also become members of the IOC.
Following the controversial election, 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 won places on the commission.
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