The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said on Thursday it has officially registered Taiwan’s appeal against the disqualification of one of its taekwondo athletes in the recent Asian Games.
The court in Lausanne, Switzerland, also said it has initiated an arbitration procedure to verify its jurisdiction over the appeal jointly filed by Yang Shu-chun (楊淑君) and Taiwan’s Cabinet-level Sports Affairs Council (SAC).
Yang, 25, was disqualified from her opening bout in the women’s under-49-kg division in the taekwondo event of the Asiad in Guangzhou, China, on Nov. 17 for allegedly wearing extra sensors in her socks in an attempt to score more points.
Video footage of the match released later appeared to show that Yang was not wearing the sensors during the bout. Inconsistent explanations from World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) and Asian Taekwondo Union officials as to why Yang was disqualified added to the controversy.
Taiwan filed a protest over the decision with the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA). Yang and the SAC also filed an appeal with the CAS on Dec. 8.
CAS secretary-general Matthieu Reeb said in a written reply to Central News Agency inquiries that the appeal has been transmitted to the three organizations involved in the arbitration procedure — the WTF, the OCA and the Guangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee.
The three parties “will have the opportunity to express their positions in a written submission at a later stage,” Reeb said.
As a general rule, he added, the CAS must ascertain that it has jurisdiction to render a final ruling.
Although SAC Deputy Minister Steven Chen (陳士魁) said earlier this month that the appeal does not require the consent of the other parties involved in the dispute, Reeb said the CAS’ jurisdiction must be established by written agreement from all the parties involved in the process.
“In the present case, it will be also one of the CAS duties to verify that its jurisdiction is established,” Reeb said.
Meanwhile, a Taiwanese delegation departed for Seoul yesterday to attend a WTF disciplinary committee hearing on the disqualification dispute scheduled for today.
The delegation members will include Yang, Chinese Taipei Taekwondo Association (CTTA) chairman Chen Chien-ping (陳建平) and Yang’s two coaches, Liu Tsung-ta (劉聰達) and Liu Ching-wen (劉慶文).
They will present written testimony to the WTF disciplinary committee meeting in the hope of finding a solution to the dispute that they feel is fair, a CTTA official said.