The World Taekwondo Federation (‘WTF’) has issued its Qualification System for the London Olympic Games. The Qualification System is approved by the International Olympic Committee (‘IOC’).
Under the Qualification System, quota places are allocated to the respective National Olympic Committees (‘NOCs’).
Only NOCs may enter athletes in the WTF World Taekwondo Qualification Tournament (July 2011) or the Continental Taekwondo Qualification Tournaments (September 2011 – January 2012).
The AOC Olympic Team Selection By-law requires the Australian Olympic Team’s Nomination and Selection Criteria for the Olympic Games be submitted to the AOC by the relevant National Federation and approved by the AOC prior to it being made available to athletes.
At this time, the sport of Taekwondo does not have a National Federation recognised by the AOC.
In October last year, the AOC resolved that Taekwondo Australia (‘TA’) should be recognised subject to TA’s membership of the WTF.
The WTF did not accept TA as a member but instead accepted Sports Taekwondo Australia (‘STA’) as the member of the WTF for sport of Taekwondo in Australia.
The WTF has recently been attempting to resolve the issue in discussions with TA and STA but it remains unresolved to date.
As a result, there is no current pathway for qualification or nomination of Taekwondo athletes by a National Federation to the AOC for selection and entry to the London Olympic Games.
It is important that athletes do not have any false expectations from statements that may have been made by either STA or TA leading them to believe that they may follow a path for nomination to the London Olympic Games which is not available to them.
The AOC regards the current situation as completely unsatisfactory but is hopeful that further discussions it may have with the IOC will find a way for Australian Taekwondo athletes to qualify for and compete at the 2012 Olympic Games.
Regrettably, at this point in time the way forward is not clear and is unlikely to be so for some time.
Australian Olympic Committee