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Taiwanese candidate loses chance to sit on IOC commission

2012/08/12 18:12:09

London, Aug. 11 (CNA) The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes Commission announced Saturday that Taiwanese former taekwondo medalist Chu Mu-yen was removed from the list of candidates for a seat on the commission after he allegedly handed out candy to athletes ahead of the vote.

Another candidate, Japanese hammer thrower Koji Murofushi, was also dropped from the list on accusations of using his iPad to explain the rules of the election to an athlete in the Olympic Village, according to the Japan Olympic Committee.

IOC Athletes Commission Chairman Frank Fredericks said both Chu and Murofushi had been warned in writing against such actions before the IOC Executive Board withdrew their candidacy Saturday, according an AP report.

In the warning letter sent to Chu, dated July 26, the IOC Election Committee said one of its members had spoken with Chu and reminded him that the election rules do not allow gifts or the display of anything related to his candidacy.

"Unfortunately, despite these alerts, we have heard that you may have continued to violate the rules by handing out lollipops to promote your candidature," the committee wrote to Chu.

The committee said the letter was just a warning but any continuation of the prohibited activity would prompt the committee to take action.

In response, Chu said that he had not given out any candy to Olympic athletes, the voters in the election.

"At noon on Aug. 10, I explained to the IOC that I have never given any lollipops to anyone," Chu said.

"At the same time, I honestly did tell them I had used my iPad to explain to other athletes the IOC procedures of this voting, but I stopped doing it after I received the warning letter on July 26," he was quoted as saying by AP.

Chu did not receive any further notices on the matter until the election results were announced and he was informed that he had been removed as a candidate. Chu and Murofushi were reported by AP to have finished in the top four.

Chu was nominated by the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee (CTOC) and was among 21 candidates seeking to represent athletes' interests in the Olympic Games organization.

All athletes participating in the London Olympics were eligible to vote in the election to choose four commission members.

Campaigning in the form of distribution or display of anything was prohibited, according to the rules of the election.

CTOC Secretary-General Chen Kuo-yi said his organization has lodged a written protest with the IOC and asked for an explanation of Chu's elimination.

"If Chu really was giving out free lollipops, we ask the IOC Election Committee to provide proof," Chen said.

"Although it (the elimination) is personally unacceptable, I have no choice but to accept it," Chu said.

Meanwhile, the Japanese Olympic Committee has said it will appeal the IOC's decision regarding Murofushi.

After Chu and Murofushi were removed from the election slate, Danka Bartekova of Slovakia, James Tomkins of Australia, Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe and Tony Estanguet of France became the newly-elected IOC members and will serve eight-year terms.

Chu won a gold medal in the 2004 Olimpics in Athens and a bronze the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

(By Lung Po-an and Jamie Wang)