Taiwan government reiterates support for disqualified athlete

Pressmeddelande   •   Nov 19, 2010 13:14 CET

Taipei, Nov. 19 (CNA) Taiwan's government said Friday it would fight to uphold the innocence of a Taiwanese taekwondo athlete disqualified at the Asian Games and expressed its anger toward the Asian Taekwondo Union (ATU), which accused the athlete of cheating.

All evidence obtained so far proved that Yang Shu-chun, who was disqualified from the Asian Games on Wednesday for using extra sensors in her electronic socks, did not cheat in the competition, Vice Premier Sean Chen said at a press conference Friday.

Chen said the wording the ATU used in its Nov. 18 press release, titled "Shocking act of deception by Chinese Taipei, " was "irrational and emotional" and looked like an "imprudent reaction" by the organization that governs taekwondo in Asia.

A full-length video of Yang's bout in the women's under 49 kilogram division was played for reporters and showed that Yang was asked by the referee to remove two extra sensors before her match started and that she did not have them attached during the bout.

It also showed that after Yang's bout was stopped late in the first round, a taekwondo referee went to the other side of the mat to pick up the two sensors that had been previously discarded and brought them back to the taekwondo official who eventually made the decision to disqualify Yang.

Chen also complained that the technical meeting called after Taiwan's protest of the disqualification never consulted Taiwanese staff and athletes. It merely informed the Chinese Taipei Taekwondo Association of the decision after the meeting, he said.

Public outrage toward China and South Korea has escalated because Zhao Lei, vice president of the ATU, is Chinese and Yang Jin-suk, secretary-general of the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), which has defended the decision, is from South Korea.

Some people have called for the boycott of South Korean goods and entertainers, but Chen said the controversy was "purely a sporting incident."

"No evidence suggests the Chinese and South Korean governments were involved (in the incident), " he said.

Chen urged the ATU and the WTF, which said Yang and Taiwan's coaching staff could face possible sanctions for their protest, to conduct their investigation into the incident "rationally and fairly."

If Taiwan finds the ATU's conclusions unacceptable, it will file for arbitration of the matter with the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), Chen said.

According to Chen Shih-kuei, vice chairman of the Sports Affairs Council (SAC) , Taiwan will have 21 days after receiving the ATU decision to file a case with the court.

The vice premier also pledged that Taiwan's government will help Yang, who remains unsure about her future, with her employment and training.

The vice premier was the latest Taiwanese official to speak on the controversy. President Ma Ying-jeou and Premier Wu Den-yih also pledged government support for Yang. (By Chris Wang)