Yang, one of Taiwan’s gold medal hopefuls at the 2010 Asian Games, was disqualified during a taekwondo bout Wednesday when the referees ruled that she had inserted extra sensors in her socks to increase her chance of winning.
Yang was competing in the under-49 kilogram division and was pegged as the likely gold medal winner.
The Chinese Taipei delegation immediately protested the decision, saying that Yang had been wrongly accused and that all of her gear had been approved by the federation before the competition.
The controversy was further fueled by the refusal of WTF Secretary-general Yang Jin-suk of South Korea to answer reporters’ questions Wednesday on the details of Yang’s disqualification.
Citing respect for the “personal privacy” of the athlete, the secretary-general was adamant at a post-competition press conference Wednesday that he was not going to discuss “the what or the why” of the WTF’s decision.
The only information he gave was that officials had discovered the fighter had violated the rules and regulations of the sport.
However, the Associated Press reported Thursday that Yang Jin-suk said officials had found palm-sized sensor patches illegally attached to the heels of the athlete’s socks during the bout.
He deflected suggestions of controversy, saying the patches were confiscated on the competition mat so there was no question of a breach of rules by the WTF, the AP report said.
Commenting on the issue, senior sports writer Wu Ching-he said that since all the fighter’s equipment was examined and authorized by the WTF prior to the game, the federation must take part of the blame if Yang Shu-chun was wearing non-regulation foot gear.
Yang Shu-chun was leading 9-0 in the match against a Vietnamese opponent when the bout was halted. Match officials said the Taiwanese athlete was indeed wearing extra sensors in the heels of her socks to rig the electronic tally system.
According to Reuters, the WTF said the sensors were discovered and removed but had been re-affixed shortly before the bout.
The federation said that it has launched an investigation into the case but the disqualification decision stands.
Source: Focus Taiwan (By Jenny W.Hsu)