Sports Affairs Council Minister Tai Hsia-ling (戴遐齡) yesterday said the council would respect taekwondo athlete Yang Shu-chun’s (楊淑君) decision on her appeal at the Lausanne, Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) over her disqualification, adding that the government would continue its support and help defend her interests.
Yang was disqualified at a match in the 49kg category at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, last November over accusations she was wearing extra sensors in her socks to record more points.
Video evidence later showed Yang had removed the sensors before the bout started. In its review of the case, the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) banned the Taiwanese athlete from competition for three months. Her coach, Liu Tsung-ta (劉聰達), was suspended for one year and eight months and the Chinese Taipei Taekwondo Association (CTTA) was fined US$50,000, as Yang and Liu protested the decision while still in the ring.
In December, Yang decided to appeal the case with the CAS, which is scheduled to hold a hearing on the matter in July.
“The council has been consistent in its attitude toward the case, which is to defend the athlete’s dignity and interests,” Tai said. “That being said, the athlete and the association might have different considerations. We will respect their decision on whether they will continue to appeal with the CAS.”
However, Hsu An-ching (許安進), who became CTTA president on Sunday, said he had been advised by WTF secretary-general Yang Jin-suk that Taiwan should drop the appeal. The WTF could suspend the rights of Taiwanese taekwondo athletes if Taiwan loses the arbitration case, which could force them to sit out of the Olympics in London next year.
Tai said she would meet Hsu soon to discuss their next step.