The prospect of Aaron Cook winning an Olympic reprieve moved a significant step closer yesterday when the British Olympic Association asked GB Taekwondo to reconsider its selection for this summer's Games.
Cook, who is today expected to be named world No 1 when the rankings are updated, was overlooked by the sport's governing body, who preferred Lutalo Muhammad despite him being ranked a lowly 56th. The BOA has told GB Taekwondo to "reconvene" its selection panel "at the earliest opportunity".
The BOA will also send an independent observer to the meeting. The BOA cannot demand that Cook, who finished fourth in Beijing, be selected, only refuse to sanction the sport's choice of athlete.
The decision to omit Cook has been seen as political. Last year the 21-year-old left the governing body's high performance programme to undertake his own training regime. Of the five-strong selection panel, two voted in Muhammad's favour, one in Cook's and two abstained.
Yesterday the BOA's statement pointedly recorded "all members of the selection committee who have a right to vote are in fact encouraged to do so." The BOA also suggested that each of the athletes in question should be allowed to make representations to the panel via his coach.
GB Taekwondo has yet to agree to what the BOA terms a "request" and will first decide whether to appeal "in the next 24 hours." A statement from GB Taekwondo said: "We have been subject to a judicial process that has prevented us from saying more in the public arena than we would want."
Cook's exclusion is said to be based on a suggestion that he is more vulnerable than Muhammad to a new method of scoring head shots. "A disproportionate amount of emphasis should not be given to the so-called head-shot rule," said the BOA.
Cook, who has received notable support from current and former Olympians ranging from Sir Steve Redgrave to Tom Daley, tweeted last night: "Thanks to all the public, fellow athletes and legends for your support. If given the chance, I will make GB proud."
Olympic news you may have missed...
Hannah England, the surprise 1500m silver medal winner at the World Championships in Daegu last summer, is struggling to make the Olympic trials next month after being badly spiked in her first international race of the summer.
The Oxford City athlete won the metric mile at the Fanny Blankers-Koen Games at Hengelo in the Netherlands on Sunday but at the cost of an injury that required hospitalisation.
"Hannah got a spike in her achilles tendon and will be out for a number of weeks," Charles van Commenee, the head coach of UK Athletics, said yesterday. "It's not good news. It's a worry.
"She's had no surgery but she had to be in hospital a few days. We're using all the modern technology to get the wound healing so that she picks up training quickly.
"She'll try to get back for the trials. We're working towards that scenario, but it's impossible to predict."
England posted the news on her Facebook fanpage, saying: "Got some battle scars from being spiked. No stitches but will have some cool scars! Taking it easy this week to avoid infection and reduce risk of lingering problems."
What's coming up...
Today & tomorrow In a probable preview of the Olympic 110m hurdle final, Cuban gold medallist Dayron Robles faces 2008 poster boy Liu Xiang and bronze medallist David Oliver at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting in Eugene, Oregon.
GB men's hockey side Put 3-2 loss to Argentina behind them by beating New Zealand 2-1 and drawing with South Korea 1-1 in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.
Germany Sending lowest number of athletes – 380 – to a Games since 1990 reunification.
Headlines Newsview all
One of the richest towns in Britain also has the highest number of people having extramarital affairs, according to new research. Wealthy Maidenhead tops a new ... Full story
A trainee teacher hanged himself on New Year’s Eve after a split from his girlfriend, an inquest heard today. Keiran Walsh, 22, split from his partner ... Full story
Late on a dark and rainy night, it is all go-go-go down at White Dee’s house in Birmingham. There is a pan of fish stew ... Full story
Rate this article
MOST POPULAR ON CAPITALBAY
- 'Don't Have Any Parties': Last Words of Mother Days Before Her Son Threw a Massive Party and Drunken Facebook Crashers Trashed Her £1m House
- Woman Driver's Fury After Commons Speaker 'Clipped Her Car as He Parked Outside a London restaurant'
- Swarms of Massive Insects Kill More Than 40 and Injure 1,600 in China
Paul Weller has won £10,000 in damages from the Mail Online, after images of his children were “plastered” across the site. The Jam frontman sued ...
More 'giant rats' appear to have been spotted, after pictures of sizeable rodents discovered in or near the homes of people across England have emerged. ...
Oscar Pistorius trial: Reeva Steenkamp standing with 'hand on the door handle' when she was shot dead
Reeva Steenkamp was standing with her hand "on the door handle" before Oscar Pistorius shot her dead through a locked toilet door, his murder trial ...
A skeleton has been found by builders underneath a driveway in Purley, south London. The discovery was made by landscape gardeners who were working in the ...
Teachers and schools should check on the holiday arrangements of pupils from communities which practice female genital mutilation (FGM), a conference was told. Delegates at the ...
Peaches Geldof dead: Australia’s Next Top Model judging role lined up for star following suicide of model mentor Charlotte Dawson
Peaches Geldof was in secret talks with the producers of talent show Australia’s Next Top Model for a high-profile judging role, following the tragic death ...
A new sort of inflatable wind turbine that floats thousands of feet above the ground could be a powerful source of sustainable, low cost energy ...
Young people who smoke marijuana may be at risk of “major” changes to the area of the brain that regulates motivation, a new study claims. Our ...
The production company behind controversial documentary Benefits Street has said it is developing a new series about immigrants in Britain. Love Productions has confirmed it is ...