Team GB right not to pick world number one for London 2012 says international governing body
Tuesday, 10 July 2012
July 10 - Britain's controversial non-selection of world number one Aaron Cook for the Olympics has been backed by the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), finally ending the hopes of the Dorchester fighter of competing at London 2012.
Lutalo Muhammad was chosen ahead of Cook for the -80 kilogramme place, a decision endorsed by British Taekwondo even though the British Olympic Association (BOA) ordered three selection meetings before they ratified the decision.
The WTF also launched a review into the decision.
It has now claimed that the selection policy, as outlined by British Taekwondo, was followed correctly.
It has also said that Britain's governing body for the sport satisfied the basic criteria established by the WTF for participation in the Olympics.
"Furthermore, the specific selection criteria defined and used by British Taekwondo were sufficient to justify their nominations," the WTF said in a statement.
"As a result, there will be no further official investigation into BT, unless additional evidence is presented."
Cook's last hope of being able to compete at London rested on the WTF finding against British Taekwondo.
"Athlete selection is the prerogative of the Member Nation Association and NOC (National Olympic Committee)," said Jean-Marie Ayer (pictured), the secretary general of the WTF.
"The WTF is committed to preserving the autonomy of our stakeholders, and our sole concern throughout the review was to ascertain whether any WTF rules or regulations were violated during the selection process.
"Our goal was to ensure that British Taekwondo used a transparent system for selecting their athletes for London 2012.
"After assessing all available evidence, we are satisfied that this was the case.
"Both Aaron Cook and Lutalo Muhammad have been outstanding ambassadors for the sport of taekwondo, and the WTF strongly hopes that both can continue making a positive contribution to our global community."
The WTF has been hugely embarrassed by the row at a time when the sport's place in the Olympics is under threat.
"We are delighted that the taekwondo family's focus can now return to what promises to be an unforgettable celebration of our sport at London 2012." said Ayer.
"We have 128 athletes from 63 nations competing for 24 medals at the iconic ExCeL Arena.
"Since Beijing 2008, we have worked hard to create a more dynamic, more exciting competition.
"At London 2012, athletes and fans will experience the full benefits of our innovations."
June 2012: Lack of finance forces Cook to give up London 2012 taekwondo appeal
June 2012: BOA has "legal and moral obligation" to let Cook take case to CAS, says lawyers
June 2012: Cook's London 2012 hopes dashed again as BOA refuse to consider "new evidence"
June 2012: Selection criteria must become "much clearer" after London 2012, insists BOA chief executive
June 2012: Olympic taekwondo selection been "tough situation" for both athletes says Muhammad