Yang, one of Taiwan’s best hopes for a gold medal in the Guangzhou Asiad, was disqualified during the first round of a bout in the women’s taekwondo under 49 kilogram division on Nov. 17. At the time, Yang was leading 9-0 against her Vietnamese opponent.
Yang was disqualified by Hong Sung-chon, a technical official of Korean descent, on grounds that she was using extra sensors on her electronic socks to increase her chances of scoring.
Video footage of the match later showed that the sensors were not attached to her socks during the bout.
Her disqualification has triggered widespread outrage and anti-Korea sentiment in Taiwan and has been used by politicians to gain support in the home stretch of the Nov. 27 mayoral election campaign.
Upon her return to Taiwan Nov. 22, Yang urged people not to hype her disqualification, not to politicize the issue, and not to blame or hurt innocent Koreans who had nothing to do with the dispute.
President Ma said he was moved by her wisdom and magnanimity in making the call for the “three noes.”
On the disqualification issue, Ma said that until the matter has been investigated and the truth made known, his administration will not accept any accusations against Yang.
In related news, Steven S.K. Chen, deputy minister of the Sports Affairs Council (SAC), said Thursday that the Taipei City government is arranging for Yang to work as a technical lecturer at Taipei Municipal University of Education (TMUE).
The Education Ministry said later that same day that Yang can start her teaching job at the TMUE from February next year.
Meanwhile, Chen said, a private foundation that asked not to be named has pledged a donation of NT$3 million (US$100,000) to the SAC, which then can give the money to Yang as an award.
According to government regulations, Taiwanese athletes are entitled to awards of NT$3 million each if they win gold at major international events such as the Olympic Games or Asian Games.
The SAC was considering an award of NT$3 million to Yang to continue her training for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.
However, Yang said that she needed more time to think about an Olympic bid.
Meanwhile, the SAC deputy minister said that Taiwan has lodged official protests and filed appeals with the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), requesting that they review the controversial disqualification.
So far, the OCA has acknowledged the appeal, Chen noted.
If necessary, Taiwan will take Yang’s case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), an independent organization that handles sports-related arbitrations, he added.
Lee and Li, a law firm that has offered its services free of charge in the case, is currently collecting information and evidence and is considering what would be the best approach for Taiwan, Chen said.
Source: Focus Taiwan (By Garfie Li, Lee Ming-tsung and Deborah Kuo)