Fri, Nov 19, 2010 - Page 2 News List

SOCKGATE: Athlete’s father demands justice after disqualification

DEVASTATED:The parents of taekwondo athlete Yang Shu-chun said she felt as if all the hard work she had put into the sport over 10 years had gone up in smoke

By Tsai Wei-chi  /  Staff Reporter

The father of Taiwanese taekwondo athlete Yang Shu-chun (楊淑君) demanded that the government seek justice for his daughter after allegations that she had used extra sensors in her socks led to her disqualification from the Asian Games on Wednesday.

“The whole thing is utterly unacceptable,” Yang Chin-hsing (楊進興) said.

Yang’s mother said the phone at the family’s home was ringing off the hook with calls offering sympathy and support for her daughter.

Until Sports Affairs Council (SAC) Deputy Minister Steven Chen (陳士魁) visited the family at their home in Taipei County yesterday afternoon to apologize on behalf of another SAC deputy minister, Chen Hsien-chung (陳顯宗), for having previously suggested that Taiwan could only “swallow” Wednesday’s ruling, the mother said there had been nothing forthcoming from any government agency since the incident took place.

According to her father, Yang Shu-chun had considered retiring from the sport after failing to win a medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, and had only continued after he persuaded her to do so. Neither of them expected something like this to happen during the Asian Games.

Yang Shu-chun was quoted by her mother as being devastated, calling home five or six times on Wednesday in tears, saying that all the hard work she had put in over the last 10 years had just gone up in smoke.

Yang Chin-hsing said he strongly suspected China had a hand in the incident. He said the semi-final was originally set for yesterday, but had been changed to Wednesday at the last moment, giving Yang very little time to register.

Her mother said that Yang Shu-chun had put everything into her training. She said over the last couple of years the athlete had been approached on several occasions by companies wanting her to endorse their products, but had turned them down because she wanted to concentrate on her preparations for the Asian Games.

“The whole family is upset by what has happened,” the mother said.

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