National governing body GB Taekwondo yesterday rejected Cook for a third time after being told to reconsider their nominations for this summer’s Games by the British Olympic Association, who have the power to veto the recommendations they are given.
The BOA met last night to consider GB Taekwondo’s intransigence and are expected to announce today whether they have accepted world No1 and European champion Cook’s omission in favour of Lutalo Muhammad, who is ranked 59 in the world in the 80kg class.
Fears have been raised that Cook may have been ostracised for political reasons, having broken away from GB Taekwondo’s development programme in order to pursue his own performance plan last year. The governing body has strenuously denied that Muhammad, who has received hate mail since the storm broke out, has been preferred for anything other than sporting reasons.
The BOA insisted on sending a representative to observe GB Taekwondo’s meeting in Manchester yesterday and chief executive Andy Hunt said they would now decide whether they were satisfied with the way the decision had been reached.
He added: “Once we have [the minutes] and the report back from the independent member from the BOA, who was one of our lawyers who attended the whole selection panel which included the voting process, we’ll convene our own panel to decide whether we are willing to ratify the nomination or not.”