"GB Taekwondo lobbied the WTF", British Press Claims
The controversy of the exclusion of Aaron Cook from the London 2012 Olympic Games is gaining more attention.
A British newspaper claims that the GB Taekwondo lobbied the World Taekwondo Federation regarding a change in seeding rules in the host country, as a preparation for a possible elimination of Aaron Cook.
The Telegraph said in an article on June 3rd that, “GB Taekwondo petitioned the sport’s world governing body to change the rules to favour lower-ranked athletes in February”.
According to The Telegraph’s claims, if world ranked no. 1 Aaron Cook had been included in the national team for the London Olympics, he would have taken the No.1 seed. However, in the case of Lutalo Muhammad, who is ranked 59 in the -80kg category, ‘would have been unseeded and forced to fight one of the world’s top-ranked athletes’ had the rules not been changed. However, they argue, GB Taekwondo lobbied the WTF to change the rules for the host country so that a 4th seed would be given for low-ranked athletes.
In response to this, the WTF strongly denied such claim.
According to the WTF, “it is true that the seeding rules for the host country have changed, but this decision was made last year considering that, with respect to the top 50% seed that is given to the host country, the 25% given to the rest of the countries seems to be a very weak advantage” and that, “there is no relationship between the time when the British team was selected and the WTF seeding rules were changed”.
GB Taekwondo performance director Gary Hall said that “In terms of rankings, some people have an ambition to be ranked highly but we don’t chase rankings because the system is inaccurate. Athletes from Korea and Iran don’t travel to tournaments and so don’t have rankings, but they come out and deliver medals.”
The Telegraph has not yet presented any proof about this issue, and therefore the basis of their story is not strong enough, but the polemic surrounding Aaron Cook will not remain just an Olympic selection problem but will become a hot issue in the world of Taekwondo.[:]