Olympic medalist loses appeal on IOC decision

AP, LAUSANNE, Switzerland

Sun, Mar 17, 2013 - Page 3

Taiwanese taekwondo Olympic gold medalist Chu Mu-yen (朱木炎) lost his appeal on Friday against the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision to bar him from election to its athletes’ commission for breaking campaign rules.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) found Chu guilty of “several violations” of the rules and upheld the IOC executive board’s decision to disqualify him from taking a spot on the panel.

Chu and Japanese hammer thrower Koji Murofushi both received enough votes from their peers at the London Olympics to win election to eight-year terms as IOC athletes’ members.

However, the IOC board annulled both of their elections for using unauthorized promotional materials and distributing gifts to voters. Both athletes were punished for using computers to lobby voters and Chu was warned for distributing candy to voters.

Murofoshi has also appealed to CAS, which is to hear his case next month.

CAS said its three-man panel found Chu guilty of campaigning in an unauthorized area and distributing name cards and showing documents with a tablet computer, despite having received a written warning from the IOC.

CAS said the violations “influenced the election process” and “gave him an advantage” over other candidates.

“Under these conditions the arbitrators found that the withdrawal of the nominations for election was the only appropriate sanction ... in the IOC rules,” it said.

However, CAS said it found that Chu’s behavior was “due more to excessive zeal rather than a desire to cheat; his reputation and integrity as a sportsman should not be affected by this decision.”

Chu and Murofushi, gold medalist at the 2004 Athens Games and bronze winner at the London Olympics respectively, were among 21 athlete candidates competing for four IOC member seats.