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
Amanda Holden at the centre of Twitter backlash as she sends daughter to school dressed as Pretty Woman prostitute for fancy dress day
A parenting group has slammed TV star Amanda Holden for posting a picture of her nine-year-old daughter 'dressed as a prostitute' online.The Britain's Got Talent ... Full story
Grandmother filmed confronting militants and branding them 'devils' before quoting verses in the Koran that forbid slaughter
An incredible video has emerged showing the moment an elderly woman bravely confronted two Islamic State militants, telling them their terror group is cursed and ... Full story
Jobseeker shocked to be sent rudest rejection email ever calling him an 'old, aesthetically challenged professional pr*** with no teeth'
A jobseeker was shocked after he was branded as 'irritating', 'rude' and 'obnoxious' in a cutting email accidentally sent to him by a prospective employer.James ... Full story
Rate this article
MOST POPULAR ON CAPITALBAY
- Bernie Ecclestone in call for women-only Formula One championship
- Michael Clarke: This World Cup victory is dedicated to our little brother and team-mate Phillip Hughes
- Republic of Ireland 1-1 Poland: Substitute Shane Long's strike secures crucial draw as Martin O'Neill's men keep Euro 2016 qualification campaign alive in Dublin
A pilotless plane with a wingspan bigger than a Boeing 737 but weighing less than a car has been tested over the UK by Facebook. Founder ...
Almost 50 MPs were accused last night of claiming hundreds of thousands of pounds in expenses for renting and using hotels in London despite owning ...
It wasn’t immediately clear why we had to be at the top of the “UK’s tallest sculpture” the ArcelorMittal Orbit, a fashionable £22m Anish Kapoor ...
Naomi Klein interview: The 'No Logo' author and climate change activist talks compost, Cameron, and the irresistible humour of otters
Was there a particular event that led you to write This Changes Everything? It wasn't one particular event. Unless it was Hurricane Katrina. My last book ...
David Threlfall interview: The actor takes a forensic approach in Code of a Killer as he leaves Shameless's Frank Gallagher behind
Actor David Threlfall, who is not to be confused with actor David Thewlis ("Ask him about Anna Friel," suggested one of my colleagues), doesn't grant ...
Vilnius has been named the cheapest European city break destination, and with the Euro currently weak against the pound, British travellers can get even more ...
This is ground control to Major Tom. Or, actually, more accurately, this is Room 135 to room service. Earlier this week, I had a very quick ...
Everyday is a red-letter day in Margate. Scarlet capitals sloshed on to bashed-in brick proclaim 'DREAMLAND WELCOMES YOU'. This greeting on the side of the ...
All hospitals will provide key services seven days a week by 2020, David Cameron will pledge today, as he goes head-to-head with Labour on Ed ...
Ruth Porat’s move from Morgan Stanley to Google is a coup for the IT crowd, even if her close ties to California via her alma ...