• London Olympics 2012

BOA ratifies Cook Olympic omission

ESPN staff
June 8, 2012

The British Olympic Association has ratified British Taekwondo's decision to omit European -80kg champion and world No. 1 Aaron Cook from the London Olympics but expressed its "strong disappointment" in the selection process adopted by the sport's governing body.

Lutalo Muhammad, selected in Cook's place despite fighting in a higher weight division, retains his place in the squad, subject to the findings of the ongoing inquiry being led by the World Taekwondo Federation into the protracted selection saga.

The BOA said the decision to accept the taekwondo squad, and Cook's omission, was unanimous, given that British Taekwondo had followed its approved selection procedures.

But BOA chief executive Andy Hunt admitted that the undue strain and uncertainty that has been placed upon two world-class athletes ahead of the Games was a cause for concern, as was the lack of transparency in the selection process and the poor communication channels with the two athletes involved.

"There are two world-class athletes directly impacted by this nomination, and our panel would have preferred to see the selection process managed in a manner that would have been of much greater service to both athletes," Hunt said.

"That said, after a thorough review, the panel is now sufficiently satisfied that the agreed selection procedures have been followed, and it is on that basis we are ratifying the nomination.

"With two exceptionally talented athletes in consideration for one place, there is no doubt this was a difficult decision for the British Taekwondo Selection Committee, which makes following the approved selection procedures all the more important."

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