BOA to consult World Taekwondo Federation over controversial Olympic omission of Aaron Cook

 

The British Olympic Association are to consult the World Taekwondo Federation in the next 24 hours as the decision to overlook world number one Aaron Cook for London 2012 comes under increasing scrutiny.

Great Britain Taekwondo's nomination of Lutalo Muhammad, 59 ranking places below Cook, in the under 80kg division despite twice being asked to reconsider was already being looked at by the BOA.

Now the world governing body has announced a review of its own, after expressing concerns over the transparency of the process and claiming the manner of selection is bringing the sport into disrepute.

The BOA's Olympic Qualification Standards Panel reconvened today, having met last night to hear a review of the process from one of their lawyers - who was present at yesterday's selection meeting - but will now speak to the WTF before coming to a decision on whether procedures were correctly followed.

"Before ratifying any athlete nomination for a host nation qualification place the OQS Panel must be certain the approved selection procedures have been followed and the process has been fair and balanced," said a BOA statement.

"The OQS Panel was notified this morning that the international federation for taekwondo, the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), is now conducting an immediate review of the British Taekwondo selection process as well.

"Given the importance of the issues being considered, the OQS Panel will consult with the World Taekwondo Federation and the British Olympic Association board of directors before making its final decision.

"This consultation will take place tomorrow and the panel will make its decision as quickly as possible thereafter."

The WTF had hoped the issue would be resolved without their involvement but having watched matters develop yesterday, when the same five GB Taekwondo selectors picked Muhammad and provoked widespread media coverage, they have opted to act.

"We are extremely disappointed by the way in which British Taekwondo's selection process has been conducted and it is clear that the lack of a conclusive rationale has caused confusion," said secretary general Jean-Marie Ayer.

"The manner of the selection is bringing our sport into disrepute among the UK media and major Olympic stakeholders due to a perceived lack of transparency.

"Our main concern is always that every athlete is given fair and equal consideration - their welfare must come first.

"We at the WTF have done our utmost to bring fair practices and transparency to our sport and that is why we have committed to undertaking this review.

"People all over the world practise taekwondo because it represents sport in its purest form: an individual display of skill, speed and strength.

"It is essential that the WTF preserves that purity for its 201 member countries and 70 million practitioners with transparent and decisive governance."

Ayer said the review, likely to be conducted over the next couple of weeks, would look at whether any regulations had been broken but could not overrule GB Taekwondo's decision.

"Up until now, the WTF had hoped that this matter could be resolved internally at British Taekwondo," Ayer added.

"As the global governing body we do not interfere with the selection processes and internal affairs of our member nations.

"We have always stated that the athletes nominated for selection must meet minimum requirements set in the qualification system.

"We are not commenting on the decision to select or omit specific athletes, as the criteria imposed beyond our minimum requirements are the remit of the individual member nation.

"This review will not have the power to alter British Taekwondo's decision, but it will determine whether any rules of the WTF ethics code have been broken."

Last night Cook's management company issued a statement in which they said it would be a "national disgrace" if the reigning European champion did not represent his country at London 2012.

One young fan has even started an online petition (http://www.change.org/petitions/put-aaron-cook-in-the-olympics), which already has over 1,000 signatures protesting about the decision.

PA

Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
Arts and Entertainment
Henry VIII played by Damien Lewis
tvReview: Scheming queens-in-waiting, tangled lines of succession and men of lowly birth rising to power – sound familiar?
News
Sir David Attenborough
people
Life and Style
Young girl and bowl of cereal
food + drink
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Comic miserablist Larry David in 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'
peopleDirector of new documentary Misery Loves Comedy reveals how he got them to open up
Sport
football
News
i100
Life and Style
Virtual reality headset: 'Essentially a cinema screen that you strap to your face'
techHow virtual reality is thrusting viewers into frontline of global events and putting film-goers at the heart of the action
Arts and Entertainment
Ready to open the Baftas, rockers Kasabian are also ‘great film fans’
musicExclusive: Rockers promise an explosive opening to the evening
Life and Style
David Bowie by Duffy
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Hell, yeah: members of the 369th Infantry arrive back in New York
booksWorld War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel
News
advertisingVideo: The company that brought you the 'Bud' 'Weis' 'Er' frogs and 'Wasssssup' ads, has something up its sleeve for Sunday's big match
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
i100
Environment
Dame Vivienne Westwood speaking at a fracking protest outside Parliament on Monday (AP)
environment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness