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Nikpai returns to Afghanistan Team to prepare for Rio 2016

Nikpai returns to Afghanistan Team to prepare for Rio 2016

Double Olympic bronze medallist Rohullah Nikpai has returned to Afghanistan after differences within the nation’s Taekwondo Federation were resolved but admitted the conflict in the Afghanistan National Olympic Committee (A-NOC) remains a problem in the build-up to Rio 2016.
Nikpai, winner of the war-torn country’s first Olympic medal, a bronze, at Beijing 2008, before winning a second four years later at London 2012, had criticised the A-NOC last year for failing to step in and deal with the officials from the Afghanistan National Taekwondo Federation, who allegedly stole money designed for athletes.
The 28-year-old, who competes in the 58 kilograms weight category, then opted to resign from the Afghanistan team, putting participation at this year’s Olympic Games in doubt.
He has now returned, claiming he is satisfied with the current states of affairs within his country’s Taekwondo Federation in an interview with Pajhwok Afghan News.
The news provides a substantial boost to the nation’s chances at Rio 2016 as Nikpai appears to be Afghanistan’s strongest medal prospect.
insidethegames understands that meetings have taken place between the Afghanistan National Taekwondo Federation and global governing body the World Taekwondo Federation in an attempt to resolve the issues in the organisation.
Rohullah Nikpai received a heroes welcome when he returned home to Kabul after winning his second Olympic bronze medal in the taekwondo at London 2012 ©A-NOC
Rohullah Nikpai received a heroes welcome when he returned home to Kabul after winning his second Olympic bronze medal in the taekwondo at London 2012 ©A-NOC
The A-NOC remains deeply embroiled in crisis after conflict over who is in control of the body reached a fresh deadlock.
A Commission set-up by the country’s President Ashraf Ghani ruled that Fahim Hashimy remains the rightful head of the body, which came despite former President Zahir Aghbar being re-elected to the post during last September’s Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) General Assembly in Ashgabat in Turkmenistan in a ballot approved at the time by both the OCA and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The OCA have confirmed to insidethegames that, as it stands, they still recognise Aghbar as President.
Asian Games Department director Haider Farman added, however, they will “study and consult the situation with IOC very closely to face this new turmoil”.
The IOC told insidethegames that, “in principal, nothing has changed from our previous position”, but they are due to hold consultations following the latest developments.
Hashimy, the 35-year-old businessmen who owns private television network 1TV, claimed the OCA and IOC are yet to reply to the latest letter sent by A-NOC, and that they have not responded to any correspondence since the disputed election in Ashgabat.
Source: Liam Morgan (InsideTheGames)

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