August 24 - The Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee (CTOC) is exerting maximum pressure over the recent International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes' Commission election, and has appealed directly to IOC President Jacques Rogge to "check into" the circumstances in which a Taiwanese athlete was disqualified.
Chinese Taipei's Mu-Yen Chu (pictured top) is one of two athletes – the other being Koji Murofushi of Japan – whose candidacy was withdrawn by the IOC following allegations that they breached strict rules governing campaigning ahead of the vote.
The contest saw the election to the commission of four current, or recently retired, athletes: skeet shooter Danka Barteková of Slovakia, Australian rower James Tomkins, swimmer Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe and French canoeist Tony Estanguet.
The posts are much coveted, partly because those who hold them usually serve eight-year terms as IOC members.
The outcome of the vote caused a stir in the last days of the London 2012 Olympics, partly because taekwondo exponent Chu and hammer thrower Murofushi, both Olympic gold medallists, initially came in the top four and partly because of the nature of some of the allegations.
It was alleged that Chu may have handed out lollipops to promote his candidature – an allegation he denies.
The IOC has approved the result of the poll while delaying confirmation of the four declared winners as new IOC members.
In his letter to Rogge, dated August 13, Thomas Tsai, CTOC President, described the lollipop allegation as "ungrounded", adding: "No evidence nor proof was supplied, for Mr Chu never conducted such an act."
Tsai wrote: "Mr Chu did use the iPad to show the IOC official webpage on the said election to inform athletes about the voting location and method, but nothing on his candidature.
"However, he stopped immediately upon receiving the July 26 correspondence [notifying him that the IOC Election Committee had heard that he 'may have continued to violate the rules'].
"And he had never campaigned 'in an area' nor 'by using methods of campaigning that were prohibited by such Rules of Conduct', as cited in the recommendation by the committee for his 'continuous violation of the Rules of Conduct'.
"We also ask for proof of such 'continuous' offence."
Tsai continued: "Other candidates had campaigned in conspicuous fashions.
"We hope that the same standard be applied to all.
"As President of his NOC, we have been monitoring closely Mr Chu's activities and have found nothing illegal.
"I need to defend the honour and name of our candidate as well as our NOC.
"Therefore, I implore you to check into this matter and kindly inform us of your findings."
Two days prior to penning the letter, Tsai had sent strongly worded communications to Christophe De Kepper, IOC director general, and Anita DeFrantz, the Election Committee chairperson.
To De Kepper he stated: "We demand that details be supplied to us regarding the election results of Mr Mu-Yen Chu and the exact reasons and regulations applied" in recommending the withdrawal of his candidacy.
To DeFrantz, he wrote to "deeply deplore and protest the brutal withdrawal" of Chu's candidacy.
"We protest the timing of the investigation by a belated Hearing Committee...
"In any fair election, this procedure should take place before, not after, the vote count."
Chu, he said, "swore he had not, nor had commissioned anyone else to hand out any lollipop during his campaign...
"I am writing this letter to defend the integrity and reputation of Mr Chu and the trust vested in him by so many international athletes who voted for him."
The IOC has confirmed that "discussions are taking place between the IOC and the relevant NOCs".
There was, it said, "a window for appeals for every election.
"Once that window has passed, the IOC Session can hold a postal vote to elect the four Athletes' Commission members as IOC members."
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