LONDON 2012: Row rumbles on as Team GB again refuse to accept British Taekwondo selection
TEAM GB official have again refused to endorse British Taekwondo's selection of Lutalo Muhammad for the London 2012 Olympics.
The British Olympic Association's five-man qualification standards panel convened on Wednesday night and again this morning to discuss the controversial selection, which comes at the expense of two-time and reigning European champion and world number one welterweight Aaron Cook.
Cook claims he is being victimised for his decision to train outside the British team set-up and believes proven credentials, and Muhammad's relative inexperience, should make his selection a formality.
And Team GB's panel, lead by chef de mission Andy Hunt and including his deputies Sir Clive Woodward and Mark England plus athletes' representative Sarah Winckless, claim they are still not yet satisfied all correct procedures have been followed, despite having a representative observe a British Taekwondo's third selection meeting this week.
It has also emerged that the World Taekwondo Federation is now conducting an immediate and urgent review of the British Taekwondo selection process and the BOA will now consult with the international federation before discussing the issue at board level tomorrow and making a decision 'as quickly as possible thereafter'.
Jean-Marie Ayer, secretary general of the WTF, said in a statement: "We are extremely disappointed by the way in which British Taekwondo’s selection process has been conducted and it is clear that the lack of a conclusive rationale has caused confusion.
"The manner of the selection is bringing our sport into disrepute among the UK media and major Olympic stakeholders due to a perceived lack of transparency.
"Our main concern is always that every athlete is given fair and equal consideration – their welfare must come first.
"We at the WTF have done our utmost to bring fair practices and transparency to our sport, and that is why we have committed to undertaking this review.
"People all over the world practise taekwondo because it represents sport in its purest form: an individual display of skill, speed and strength.
"It is essential that the WTF preserves that purity for its 201 member countries and 70 million practitioners with transparent and decisive governance.”
© Sportsbeat 2012