JOC opts to ask IOC to re-investigate Murofushi’s election rule violations

Kyodo

The Japanese Olympic Committee decided at an executive meeting Friday to ask the International Olympic Committee to re-investigate its decision to void hammer thrower Koji Murofushi’s election to the IOC Athletes’ Commission.

Murofushi, who won a bronze medal at the London Olympics, garnered enough votes to gain election to the Athletes’ Commission, but the IOC refused to accept his election, claiming he had violated election rules at the Games. The JOC believes the IOC made a mistake in its decision.

Depending on the IOC’s response and Murofushi’s own views, the JOC will decide by the end of the month whether to appeal the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Immediately upon learning the results of the election, the JOC demanded an explanation and received a response at the executive level. The IOC’s response, that Murofushi campaigned for election in areas off limits to election activities, did not mesh with the JOC’s understanding of the case. In addition, the dates on which the IOC said it warned Murofushi proved to be incorrect, according to JOC sources.

“Some parts (of the response) were half-baked,” said executive board member Yoshiji Nogami. “There’s a big difference between having a conversation and campaigning for election.”

“There are a number of points where our interpretations differ, and we demand an accounting of the facts,” he said.

In a break from normal procedure, the IOC has yet to appoint the four athletes elected in London as IOC members.

“This delay is unprecedented,” said a JOC executive. “I think it means there remains a possibility that it (the existing situation) can be overturned.”

Hopes are high that if Murofushi joins the commission, he could give a face to Tokyo’s bid for the 2020 Games.

“We must refute this,” said Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara. “It’s only natural.”