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Murofushi loses appeal at CAS in IOC election case

 FILE - In this Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012 file photo Japan's Koji Murofushi competes in the men's hammer throw final in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Sum...
 FILE - In this Monday, Aug. 6, 2012 file photo Japan's Koji Murofushi poses with his bronze medal for the men's hammer throw in the Olympic Stadium a...

Athletes Election

FILE - In this Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012 file photo Japan's Koji Murofushi competes in the men's hammer throw final in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Sum...

Athletes Election

FILE - In this Monday, Aug. 6, 2012 file photo Japan's Koji Murofushi poses with his bronze medal for the men's hammer throw in the Olympic Stadium a...

Former Olympic champion Koji Murofushi lost his appeal Wednesday against disqualification from an election to become an IOC member representing athletes, a setback for Tokyo's bid to host the 2020 Games.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport dismissed the Japanese hammer thrower's challenge of an IOC decision excluding him after claims he excessively lobbied fellow athletes ahead of voting at the London Olympics last August.
Despite ruling against the 2004 Athens Games champion and London bronze medalist, CAS said Murofushi's "reputation and sportsmanship were intact."
Still, the case denied Murofushi a role in helping persuade fellow IOC members to support Tokyo's bid to host the 2020 Olympics.
The three-member CAS panel will give its detailed verdict "in a few days," but suggested that most responsibility in the Murofushi case rested with the Japanese Olympic Committee, which is leading Tokyo's candidacy against Madrid and Istanbul.
"(The panel) has indicated that it had unanimously found that the main reason for upholding the decision of the IOC was due to the fact that the (Japanese Olympic Committee) did not comply with the applicable rules and regulations," the court said in a statement.
Wednesday's verdict clears the way for Tony Estanguet of France, a three-time Olympic champion in canoe slalom, to become one of the 100-plus International Olympic Committee members.
Estanguet will likely be approved as a member in July and then vote when the IOC chooses the 2020 host in September in Buenos Aires.
The IOC said in a statement it "welcomes the CAS decision," and President Jacques Rogge told The Associated Press that the case had not damaged the Olympic body.
"The rights of the athletes have been preserved throughout the whole process," Rogge said in a telephone interview. "It happens that unfortunately two athletes did not respect the rules of conduct and we had to take the disagreeable decision to eliminate them from the vote."
Murofushi was barred after winning one of four vacant eight-year IOC membership mandates for athletes in a 21-candidate election last August.
The IOC intervened after investigating claims, including some lodged by Olympic bodies supporting rival candidates, that campaign rules were broken. Allegations included using tablet computers and seeking support in parts of the athletes' village not authorized for campaigning.
Murofushi and a second candidate, Taiwanese taekwondo fighter Chu Mu-yen, were disqualified after finishing first and second in the ballot, ahead of Slovakian shooter Danka Bartekova and Australian rower James Tomkins in third and fourth places. Almost 7,000 athletes _ 64 percent of those at the London Games _ voted.
The IOC promoted athletes who finished fifth and sixth in polling _ swimmer Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe and Estanguet _ into the winning positions.
Chu also appealed to CAS and lost his case in March.
The IOC has delayed filling the athlete member seats during the nine-month appeal process, which could be extended if Murofushi and the JOC file a final appeal at Switzerland's federal court. It can intervene if legal process was abused but not on the merits of evidence.
The four new members could be accepted at a July 3-4 meeting of the IOC in Lausanne, where the three 2020 Games bidders will make formal presentations.
"If there is no appeal, then the four athletes will be elected at the extra session in July," Rogge said. "They will take the oath and will be eligible to vote at the session in Buenos Aires."
The IOC statement said it "looks forward to working with Danka Bartekova, James Tomkins, Kirsty Coventry and Tony Estanguet."
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AP Sports Writer Stephen Wilson in London contributed to this report


Updated : 2021-05-10 01:57 GMT+08:00