BOA has "legal and moral obligation" to let Cook take case to CAS, says lawyers
Sunday, 24 June 2012
June 24 - World taekwondo number one Aaron Cook is set to defy the British Olympic Association (BOA) and take an appeal against his omission from the team for London 2012 to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
The European champion in the -80 kilogram class was controversially overlooked in favour of Lutalo Muhammad and is fighting to overturn the decision.
He has employed lawyers Harbottle and Lewis, who wrote to the BOA last week claiming they had new evidence that meant he should be allowed to appeal against the decision.
But the BOA turned down Cook's request and said he could not take his appeal to the Lausanne-based CAS because the Olympic Charter states CAS can only be used by athletes nominated for an Olympic Games.
Cook plans to ignore that and head for CAS.
"Aaron and his team strongly disagree with the BOA's position and they responded to the BOA in writing last night," said a statement from Harbottle and Lewis.
"CAS is set up to deal with Olympic disputes quickly and efficiently.
"It is the perfect and correct court to hear this case.
"The BOA knows that CAS can deal with this case within the time-frame, which would allow another selection process to be considered if required before 6 July.
"This is not a case against an athlete who has done anything wrong, unlike the majority of other BOA cases this year.
"This was all about a highly flawed and personal selection process.
"The BOA will almost certainly not allow such a flawed selection process from a governing body for Rio in 2016.
"They need to give Aaron Cook a chance to prove his case before CAS.
"The BOA may not agree with Aaron's case, but it has a legal and moral obligation to find an appropriate, fair and transparent resolution for Aaron.
"Aaron deserves nothing less.
"It is beyond belief that the BOA wants the British public to believe that the internationally renowned sports tribunal that deals with urgent disputes regarding the Olympics is not the right court to hear Aaron's urgent case.
"Nor is it objectively clear to Aaron or to anyone in his team why the world number one in his weight category and discipline has not already been selected for Team GB."
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June 2012: Olympic taekwondo selection been "tough situation" for both athletes says Muhammad
June 2012: World number one will miss London 2012 after BOA ratify British Taekwondo decision not to pick him
June 2012: Exclusive - "I've no regrets" says BOA chief as heat grows hotter over Cook