By Michael Pavitt

President Choue left has announced the departure of general secretary Jean-Marie Ayer, from the World Taekwondo Federation ©WTFA raft of changes have been announced by the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) following their Extraordinary Council meeting in Bangkok, including the departure of Jean-Marie Ayer from his position as the body's secretary general.

WTF President Chungwon Choue explained that the "difficult decision" to remove Ayer was made as a result of "administrative inefficiencies" caused by the distance between the headquarters in Seoul and Ayer's residence in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Ayer's departure represents a significant shake up in the structural organisation of the WTF, with Choue insisting that the Federation now needs to act fast and effectively following the change.

Choue also moved to reassure the 25 Council attendees that they would continue to maintain a relationship of some description with the official, and that the WTF office in Lausanne would remain.

The South Korean took the opportunity to introduce the major points of the Olympic Agenda 2020, which was unanimously passed by the IOC at its Session in Monte Carlo last month, urging the WTF to push forward with changes.

"We are now in a position to drive change ourselves rather than being driven," he urged.

The Extraordinary WTF Council Meeting in Bangkok saw 25 Council members attend, plus two auditors ©WTFThe Extraordinary WTF Council Meeting in Bangkok saw 25 Council members attend, plus two auditors ©WTF

Choue asserted that the WTF needed to move forwards and focus on making the sport more marketable and accessible for all, also maintaining that good governance needs to be achieved.

His drive to push taekwondo forwards comes less than a month after Choue told insidethegames the WTF would do their best in order to promote the sport and make it more transparent and fair, with these changes seen as key to safeguarding taekwondo's Olympic status.

During the meeting, of which Thailand's International Olympic Committee member Nat Indrapana was among the organisers, a series of proposed amendments were passed, including alterations to WTF competition rules and the WTF Ranking Bylaw, as well as changes to the Para-taekwondo and deaf-taekwondo classification rules and regulations.

The council also announced that Samsun, Turkey will host the second stage of the 2015 WTF World Taekwondo Grand Prix Series, after the initial hosts of the tournament, Doha, withdrew.

No reason has yet been given for Doha's relinquishing of the event, although insidethegames has contacted the WTF for more information.

The next WTF Council meeting will take place on May 10 in Chelyabinsk, Russia, the city due to host the 2015 WTF World Taekwondo Championships.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

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