• London Olympics 2012

BOA rejects GB Taekwondo's nomination

ESPN staff
May 31, 2012

The British Olympic Association has ordered GB Taekwondo to reconsider its decision to overlook top-ranked Aaron Cook in favour of Lutalo Muhammad for London 2012.

Cook, 21, appealed to the BOA after being left out of GB's four-strong team for the Olympics despite currently being ranked No. 1 in the world in the 80kg division.

The BOA failed to endorse the decision to omit Cook in favour of world No. 93 Muhammad and, following a meeting with British Taekwondo on Thursday, has now demanded the governing body looks again at world No. 93 Muhammad's selection.

British Taekwondo justified Muhammad's inclusion by claiming regulations over high-kick scoring favoured him over Cook. However, the Olympic Qualification Standards panel, which included Team GB chiefs Andy Hunt and Sir Clive Woodward, found there was a "disproportionate amount of emphasis" on this criterion, while insisting the "head-shot rule" was subject to different interpretation.

The OQS has now paved the way for both athletes to put forward their cases in front of the Selection Committee, with the BOA also likely to be in attendance at the meeting.

A statement read: "On the basis of the process that was followed by Sport Taekwondo UK in arriving at its nomination for the Men's Under 80 kg weight category, it was the unanimous decision of the OQS Panel that it could not ratify the nomination."

Cook, who recently retained his European title in Manchester, left the national taekwondo academy last year and drafted in his own coaches, and it was this preference to leave the high-performance programme to train independently that is thought to have counted against him when the selectors put forward their nominations for the GB squad.

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