Sat, Jan 01, 2011 - Page 2 News List

CAS starts taekwondo case

Staff Writer, with CNA

The Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has officially initiated an arbitration on the disqualification of Taiwanese taekwondo athlete Yang Shu-chun (楊淑君) at the 2010 Asian Games, a CAS official said yesterday.

Matthieu Reeb, secretary--general of the international arbitration body, said via e-mail that the procedure would be divided into two phases: a filing of written submissions, followed by hearings.

“For the moment, we are still in phase one, which will probably last four or five more weeks,” Reeb said.

However, he declined to offer any further details, on the grounds that confidentiality is required by the procedural rules.

The news came just as Yang was considering whether to retract her appeal, which was filed on Dec. 8 with the CAS. There have been concerns that once the case enters the CAS arbitration process, the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) might suspend the Chinese Taipei Taekwondo -Association, which will affect other athletes’ chances of competing in international competitions.

Yang was controversially disqualified on Nov. 17 for allegedly wearing extra electronic sensors in her socks at the Asian Games. Yang was enjoying a 9-0 lead at that point, and replays of the match show that as instructed by games officials, she had removed the two extra sensors before entering the ring. Video footage of the match showed that the sensors were not attached to her socks during the bout.

The WTF banned Yang from competition for three months on Dec. 21 because she sat down in protest and refused to leave the mat following her disqualification.

Chinese Taipei Taekwondo Association (CTTA) chairman Chen Chien-ping (陳建平) said on Thursday that Yang would decide next week whether to go ahead with the appeal.

“Yang Shu-chun will discuss the issue with her coach, Liu Tsung-ta (劉聰達), and is likely to come up with a final decision on whether she will continue seeking to have the CAS hear her case or simply withdraw her application for arbitration,” Chen said.

Chen said that Yang has taken many factors into consideration and her primary concern is to avoid undermining other athletes’ chances of competing in international competitions.

“It is understood that the WTF will first suspend the CTTA once the case enters the CAS arbitration process, and this would greatly affect other athletes’ rights and interests,” he said.

“However, we will fully respect Yang’s decision,” he said.

Liu, who lodged a protest after the disqualification, was punished with a 20-month suspension, and the CTTA was fined US$50,000.

The CTTA has until Jan. 31 to pay the fine and will be suspended by the WTF if it fails to comply, Chen said.

Sports Affairs Council Deputy Minister Steven Chen (陳士魁) said the council would stand firmly behind Yang.

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