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Last Updated: Sunday, 12 September, 2004, 23:27 GMT 00:27 UK
Gymnast launches court bid
Yang Tae-young competes in the parallel bars
South Korean gymnast Yang Tae-young has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to try to claim the gold medal he lost due to a scoring error.

Yang filed his appeal on 29 August and the case will now be heard on 27 September, in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Yang, who won bronze, lost the all-around title to American Paul Hamm when incorrectly docked a 10th of a point from his parallel bars routine.

Three judges were suspended over the incident but Hamm kept the gold.

Yang finished third, 0.049 points behind Hamm, but with the extra 0.100 he should have been awarded for his routine, would have won gold.

The world governing body, the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), admitted the scoring error but said reversing judges' decisions was not within its rules.

But the US Olympic Committee (USOC) has now claimed FIG has placed "outrageous and improper" pressure on Hamm to hand his gold medal to Yang.

Men's individual all-round gymnastics gold medallist Paul Hamm
Hamm has been asked to give his gold medal to Yang
FIG said in a letter to USOC iit would "highly appreciate the magnitude of this gesture" if Hamm were to give the gold to the Korean.

A USOC statement said it found the request to be "improper, outrageous and so far beyond the bounds of what is acceptable that it refuses to transmit the letter to Mr Hamm".

It continued: "During these conversations, the USOC expressed its unwavering support for Mr Hamm and indicated it will aggressively resist any attempt by any party to lay claim to his gold medal."

South Korean officials appealed to USOC and the International Olympic Committee, but IOC president Jacques Rogge rejected the idea of duplicate gold medals.

The CAS hearing was delayed to allow FIG and USOC time to prepare their responses.

Gymnastics officials are already considering introducing independent judges in future competitions.

"It's clear all these occurrences throw a very bad light on the FIG," said the body's secretary general Andre Gueisbuhler.

"We are aware that this is questioning the integrity of the federation.

"Discussions will be on how to control the judges and how to have to better rules on protests during the competition."

Links to more Gymnastics stories


Hamm wins individual gold
18 Aug 04  |  Gymnastics
View from America
25 Aug 04  |  US Sport


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