The Chinese Taipei Swimming Association (CTSA) should apologize to the public over its shortcomings exposed during the selection of Taipei Universaide national team members and seek to improve them, the Sports Administration said yesterday.
The agency’s remarks came after it received the first petition about the selection process via a special section established on its Web site on Tuesday to handle concerns and complaints from athletes and coaches.
The association has been strongly criticized after National Taiwan University senior Mintzi Ting (丁聖祐) complained that there had been favoritism in the selection process after she was not picked for a spot on the team, even though she won a gold medal in the 50m butterfly in the National Intercollegiate Athletic Games this year.
However, Competitive Athletics Division Deputy Director Lan Kun-ten (藍坤田) said the agency’s call for an apology had nothing to do with Ting’s complaint.
The agency hopes that the selection process would be conducted in a fair, open and transparent manner, Lan said.
The petition received by the agency on Wednesday recommended a female swimmer for the national team, based on her record in the National High School Athletic Games, which the petitioner said should have qualified the swimmer to compete in the 400m relay at the Games next month, Lan said.
The swimmer cited in the petition will be a college freshman in the fall and met the International University Sports Federation qualifications for incoming freshmen to compete in the Taipei Universiade, Lan said.
“There are detailed, verified records proving that the swimmer has met the requirement for being recommended. The association then followed due procedures to allow the swimmer to compete in the relay race at the Taipei Universiade. This would meet the principle that athletes with better performances should be recommended for competition,” he said.
“We asked the association to explain to the public how it failed to review all the qualified candidates when it made recommendations, which was an error on its part, and to apologize,” Lan said.
To be picked for the national team, swimmers must either meet the standards to compete or meet the standards to be trained to compete, as set by the Chinese Taipei University Sports Federation, but Ting did not meet either, Lan said.
The swimming team roster for the Taipei Universiade that appears on the Chinese Taipei University Sports Federation’s Web site lists 17 males and eight females.
Only one of the females, Liao Man-wen (廖曼汶), is to compete in the 200m individual breast stroke, as she meets the standards to be trained to compete.
A proposed amendment to the National Sports Act (國民體育法) would establish an arbitration committee to handle disputes among sports associations, coaches and athletes, but it has yet to pass the legislature.
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