Taiwan appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) on Wednesday over the controversial disqualification of taekwondo athlete Yang Shu-chun (楊淑君) in the Asia Games in Guangzhou last month, the Sports Affairs Council (SAC) said yesterday.
Sports Affairs Council Minister Tai Hsia-ling (戴遐齡) said the council consulted lawyers in Taiwan and Switzerland and decided to take the case to the CAS, which requires athletes to appeal within 21 days after an incident occurs.
Yang was disqualified from the women’s under-49kg division at the Asiad on Nov. 17 over an allegation that she wore extra sensors in her socks in an attempt to score more points. However, video footage of the match released later, showed Yang was not wearing the sensors during the bout.
Lawyer Song Yao-ming (宋耀明), representing both the council and Yang, said Taiwan was filing for an appeal arbitration, not an ordinary arbitration. While the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) did not list the articles for arbitration in its technical manual for the Games on Oct. 7, Song said his legal team found that the Asian Games’ sports entries manual authorizes athletes to take such action. There had been reports that the WTF might not recognize the court’s jurisdiction over this case.
A sanction committee of the WTF is scheduled to meet in Seoul on Dec. 18. Yang and her coach Liu Tsung-ta (劉聰達), as well as Chinese Taipei Taekwondo Association chairman Chen Chien-ping (陳建平) and Taiwan’s Asian Games taekwondo team head coach Liu Ching-wen (劉慶文) have been invited to the meeting.
Song said the legal team has two main goals in seeking arbitration: that the CAS annul Yang’s disqualification, and that the arbitration results be made public.
Council officials said Taiwan could withdraw from arbitration if the WTF issues an acceptable statement after the Seoul meeting.
Yang said she was trying to be optimistic about the Seoul meeting, but she felt tremendous pressure.
“I have heard complaints from other athletes about me getting so much media attention, as if Taiwan only has one sport,” Yang said.
She said she hoped the media would pay attention to other athletes and that her case would be resolved soon.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CNA