The World Taekwondo Federation is investigating the Taekwondo Union of Russia due to the inclusion of a regional Crimean association in the organization. This was reported by the portal Inside the Games.
The Crimean Taekwondo Union, as well as the Federation of Sevastopol, are indeed members of the BC, as evidenced by the entry on the organization's website.
"As for the accusations against the Taekwondo Union of Russia, World Taekwondo is currently investigating this issue and will not give further comments until the process is completed," the publication quoted an anonymous source in the international federation as saying.
What could be the consequences and possible sanctions to the BC is not specified. The president of the Crimean Taekwondo Union, Eskender Vagapov, also found it difficult to answer this question.
"In my opinion, the international federation should be more involved in the development of its sport in the world. At the last Olympics, Russian taekwondo athletes proved their strength to everyone. I can say that the investigation has been going on for more than one day. How it can turn out in the end is generally unpredictable, "TASS quoted the head as saying.
Meanwhile, World Taekwondo is one of those sports organizations that followed the March recommendations of the International Olympic Committee to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete. So, both teams were invited to perform at the World Championship, which is taking place these days in Baku, albeit with some reservations.
Firstly, the athletes went to the tournament in a neutral status, and secondly, the Olympic champions of Tokyo Vladislav Larin and Maxim Khramtsov were "unhooked" from the Russian team. According to media reports, the decision was made on the basis of an analysis of the social networks of athletes. It was even reported about a meeting of a special commission, at which athletes were asked why they liked certain posts, left comments or published photos. Nevertheless, 14 athletes from Russia went to the world championship, including Tokyo silver medalist Tatyana Minina and bronze medalist of the 2020 Games Mikhail Artamonov. We flew to the capital of Azerbaijan together with the team and the suspended Khramtsov and Larin. Experienced athletes intend to help their comrades in preparing for the main start of the season, which also serves as a qualifier for the Paris Olympics.
It is worth noting that World Taekwondo's decision to admit was made despite active protests from the Ukrainian team, which eventually boycotted the competition.
The president of the international federation, Chung Won Cho, said he was "extremely saddened" by this decision, but stressed that athletes should not be deprived of the opportunity to participate in tournaments for political reasons.
"We respect their right to participate in our competitions. That is why we decided to allow them, but under a neutral flag. We believe that in the future we will support everyone who practices taekwondo. We cooperate with national associations. I believe and hope that the participation of Russians and Belarusians in the current World Championship will be a good example of how we support our athletes," said the head of World Taekwondo.
The tournament started in the capital of Azerbaijan on May 29. On the first day of the competition, domestic athletes were left without awards - Ilya Danilov (category up to 68 kg) and Margarita Bliznyakova (up to 57 kg) lost in the second round. But on the second day, the piggy bank of the Russian team was replenished with the first medal. The bronze medal in the category up to 73 kg was won by a native of Rostov-on-Don Polina Khan. She confidently prevailed over her rivals until the semifinals, where she was confronted by Tokyo bronze medalist Althea Lorin. The Russian woman put up decent resistance to her opponent in the first round, losing only one point, but in the second the Frenchwoman seized the initiative and won with a score of 10-2.
In the final fight, Lauryn defeated Rebecca McGowan from Great Britain and became the world champion for the first time.
In addition, the silver medal in the category up to 58 kg in men was won by a native of North Ossetia, Georgy Gurtsiev, who recently moved to the national team of Belarus and also performs in Baku under a neutral flag. In the final, he lost to South Korean athlete Joon Seo Bae, who became a two-time world champion.