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Taiwan taekwondo athlete Yang suspended for three months (update)

2010/12/21 21:52:00

Taipei, Dec. 21 (CNA) Taiwanese taekwondo athlete Yang Shu-chunwas given a three-month suspension Tuesday by the World TaekwondoFederation (WTF) for protesting her disqualification during the 2010Guangzhou Asian Games, the Sports Affairs Council (SAC) said Tuesdayat a press conference.

Yang was punished for staging a sit-in protest in the competitionarea Nov. 17 after she was disqualified on grounds of wearing extraelectronic sensors in her socks.

The WTF ruling means that Yang will not be allowed to compete inany international sports events for the next three months. Her coachLiu Tsung-ta was slapped with a 20-month suspension, effectiveimmediately.

The Chinese Taipei Taekwondo Association (CTTA) was finedUS$50,000 for "negligence and wrongdoing, " according to an emailsent Tuesday by the WTF to inform the CTTA of its ruling.

In the email, WTF President Choue Chungwon also said that thecommittee had "found evidence of various attempts, in particular inthe Taiwan media, to negatively incite and manipulate publicperceptions."

According to the WTF, it's Sanctions Committee found Yang guiltyof two separate violations -- using illegal equipment and interferingwith the management of the competition.

"The suspension is not likely to affect my chances of competingin the 2014 London Olympics, but I feel sorry for my coach because heis obliged to stand up for his athletes, " said Yang, with tearsrolling down her cheeks at the hastily called press conference.

Yang, 25, said that despite the "light" suspension, the WTF'saccusation of her cheating was hard to swallow. "But it seems that Ican't do anything at this moment to prove my innocence," she said.

Yang said she will have to consider whether or not to try toparticipate in the London Olympics.

CTTA President Chen Chien-ping said at the press conference thatthe penalty was "harsher than we had expected" but the CTTA was readyto pay the fine before the Jan. 31, 2011 deadline to ensure theparticipation of Taiwan athletes in future competitions.

SAC Minister Tai Hsia-ling said the 20-month suspension againstLiu was a severe punishment and the SAC and the CTTA are mullingtheir next move to overturn the decision.

The WTF's Sanction Committee, comprising Egyptian, Israel andTurkish officials, reviewed the Yang issue Dec. 18 in Seoul, SouthKorea in a meeting that included Yang, Liu and Chen.

WTF officials said Yang had violated the competition rules bywearing extra electronic sensors on her socks during her opening boutto score more points, but video footage later showed she did not havethe sensors on during the match.

After the decision, Yang refused to leave the ring. Contradictorystatements by taekwondo officials explaining the disqualificationlater sparked outrage in Taiwan.

Taiwan has officially filed an appeal with the Lausanne-basedCourt of Arbitration for Sport against the disqualification.

(By Chris Wang)
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