Sat, Jul 10, 2004 - Page 4 News List

President's son-in-law to be part of 2004 Olympic delegation's medical staff

STAFF WRITER

The Cabinet's national council on physical fitness and sports (NCPFS) decided to allow Chao Chien-ming (趙建銘) -- President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) son-in-law -- to join the medical team of Taiwan's delegation for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, local media reported yesterday.

The NCPFS made the decision at their meeting yesterday, held to discuss whether Chao is qualified for the job.

Chao is an osteopath at the Taipei Hospital under the Cabinet's Department of Health. He was recommended by Han I-hsiung (韓毅雄), a senior doctor who was his teacher at National Taiwan University Hospital and a close friend to President Chen's family.

"(Chao) was very excited when he heard that he could accompany the team to the Olympics," Han said. Han will lead of the medical team for the country's Olympic delegation.

In response to the criticism that Chao should not occupy the vacancy, the NCPFS said the medical team will not kick out any of its original members after Chao was added, because Taiwan has been granted an additional seat after tennis player Rendy Lu (盧彥勳) received a wild card spot from the International Tennis Federation.

Lu shocked the world when he defeated French Open finalist Guillermo Coria earlier last month. He is currently ranked No. 92 in the ATP world rankings -- the highest ever for a male player from Taiwan.

Some doctors criticized the decision, arguing Chao has no prior experience treating athletes, and therefore lacks their trust, which is crucial to their performance in major international competitions.

Defending his former student, Han said he believes Chao can handle any injuries in the appropriate manner.

"Experience is unnecessary. One can achieve anything if he is capable," Han said.

Due to Chao's special status, the National Security Bureau (NSB) will determine whether to send escorts to protect him during the Olympic Games, scheduled to start on Aug. 13.

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