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BOA to examine Cook controversy
The British Olympic Association could decide to overturn the controversial omission of taekwondo fighter Aaron Cook from the London 2012 Olympic squad.
Cook, 21, has appealed to the governing body after he failed to secure an expected under-80kg nomination in a four-strong team, having retained his European title in Manchester at the start of May.
Despite receiving the backing of British Taekwondo's performance director Gary Hall, Cook - who last year decided to quit the organisation's World Class Performance Programme and train independently - was overlooked in favour of Lutalo Muhammad, who would have to drop down a weight division for the Olympics.
The BOA's Olympic Qualification Standards panel - which consists of chief executive Andy Hunt, Sir Clive Woodward, deputy chef de mission Mark England and Sarah Winckless, chairman of the BOA athletes commission - are set to convene to discuss the matter. A final decision could even end up at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
It is the first high-profile selection controversy surrounding the make-up of Team GB, but chef de mission Hunt insists the BOA are duty-bound to uphold the Olympic ideology ahead of what will be a unique Games for all British athletes.
"It is such an amazing and extraordinary thing to compete for your Olympic team at your home Games - it can be a life-changer. As an organisation, we take that responsibility massively seriously because it affects people's livelihoods and careers," said Hunt.
"We will apply the absolute appropriate level of due diligence and scrutiny to all the documentation to make sure we are totally satisfied, to the best of our ability, that we have athletes who are selected to have the best possible opportunity of getting the best outcome for the team. The public would expect me to do nothing else."
Cook is set to return to the top of the latest world rankings, and issued a lengthy statement in which he declared it "incredible" he would be denied the opportunity to fight for a medal in London, having already appealed the original decision which caused the delay of last week's planned squad announcement in Manchester.
The 21-year-old feels his decision to go it alone may well have influenced the final selection process.
"I find it incredible as the world number one in my sport, I may not participate in the Games due to the "opinion" of a committee who - as reported in the British media - have apparently voted against the performance director, who is reported to have voted for me at both selection meetings," Cook said.