SOCKGATE: Deputy minister of SAC resigns after Yang comments

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff Reporter

Sat, Nov 20, 2010 - Page 2

Sports Affairs Council (SAC) Deputy Minister Chen Hsien-chung (陳顯宗) resigned yesterday after coming under fire for his comments suggesting that Taiwan should “swallow” the controversial ruling on the disqualification of Taiwanese taekwondo athlete Yang Shu-chun (楊淑君) at the Asian Games in China.

His resignation, tendered early yesterday afternoon, was approved by Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) after he consulted with SAC Chairwoman Tai Hsia-ling (戴遐齡), Vice Premier Sean Chen said.

JUST SWALLOW

At a press conference held by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Wednesday condemning Yang’s disqualification, Chen Hsien-chung, a former judo athlete, said that while athletes should protest against unfair rulings on site, sometimes people have to “swallow” the unjust ruling and respect the decision when their protests are overruled.

Chen Hsien-chung later apologized for his remarks after coming under fire from netizens, sports fans and lawmakers across party lines.

He apologized again on Thursday, saying he did not make himself clear on Wednesday, adding that his choice of word — “swallow” — was a common expression in the sporting world.

His resignation came after some KMT lawmakers early yesterday urged Tai and SAC deputy ministers to step down if Yang’s disqualification in the incident was due to negligence on the part of the council for failing to understand the rules regarding sensors on socks in international taekwondo competitions.

KMT Legislator Wu Ching-chih (吳清池) said Chen Hsien-chung should resign for his comments.

“After the incident, it was unbelievable that the SAC deputy minister said we should swallow the result. He should step down for this. I believe no one can swallow that,” Wu Ching-chih said.