Taiwan believes an appeal it has filed with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) related to the disqualification of one of its taekwondo athletes at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, will be accepted.
Sports Affairs Council Deputy Minister Steven Chen (陳士魁) said on Friday that the council had received a notice from the Lausanne, Switzerland-based tribunal asking it to remit an arbitration fee to the court.
“This action should serve as an indication that the international court is determined to accept the case,” Chen said.
The council filed the appeal through a law firm on Wednesday. It has asked for arbitration in the case of Yang Shu-chun’s (楊淑君) controversial dismissal from the women’s under-49kg division in the taekwondo competition at the Asiad on Nov. 17.
The appeal was filed by Lee and Li Attorneys-at-Law on behalf of the council, which feared it would be too late if Taiwan submitted the appeal after Dec. 18, when the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) is scheduled to convene a disciplinary committee meeting in Seoul to discuss Yang’s case.
“In the past two days, we have not received any information signaling that the CAS would not take the case. Instead, it has asked us to remit an arbitration fee to facilitate follow-up procedures,” Chen said.
Taiwan could withdraw the arbitration appeal if the WTF issues an acceptable statement after its Dec. 18 meeting.
However, Taiwan will proceed with the case in the international court if the WTF makes any decision that would jeopardize Yang’s rights, he added.
WTF secretary-general Yang Jin-suk said in Seoul on Friday he was unaware of any attempt to have the dispute brought before the CAS.
Under most circumstances, a case can only be arbitrated by the CAS if both parties to the dispute agree to do so. It is unclear if the WTF would accept taking the case to the arbitration court.
CAS secretary-general Matthieu Reeb told the Central News Agency on Nov. 26 that the WTF did not seem to recognize the jurisdiction of the court in disputes similar to incidents such as Yang’s disqualification.
Yang, her coaches Liu Tsung-ta (劉聰達) and Liu Ching-wen (劉慶文), and Chinese Taipei Taekwondo Association president Chen Chien-ping (陳建平) will travel to Seoul next week to attend the WTF disciplinary committee meeting and present written testimony in hope of -bringing a fair solution to the dispute.
The 25-year-old athlete, who was one of Taiwan’s gold medal hopefuls at the Asiad, was disqualified during her opening bout at the tournament for allegedly wearing extra sensors in her socks in an attempt to score more points.
However, video footage of the match released later showed that Yang was not wearing the sensors during the bout. Inconsistent explanations by the WTF and Asian Taekwondo Union officials as to why Yang was disqualified have added to the controversy.
Taiwan filed a protest over the decision with the Olympic Council of Asia and also vowed to take the case to the CAS if other appeals failed to provide a satisfactory outcome.