HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam – In a strong show of its determination to fair judging and refereeing at taekwondo competitions, the Competition Supervisory Board of the World Taekwondo Federation has sanctioned four international referees participating in the 6th WTF World Junior Taekwondo Championships here.

After receiving a protest from the Spanish team on the second day of the championships on July 27, the Competition Supervisory Board conducted a thorough investigation into the charges and announced four international referees guilty on July 28.

In the WTF’s 33-year history, it could mark the single, stiffest official sanctions on international referees, reaffirming the WTF’s strong determination to fair judging and refereeing at taekwondo competitions.

The four international referees found guilty were Myeung Gon Moon of Hong Kong, Sang Soon Lee of Spain, Jose Molero Lopez of Spain and N. Da Christophe Ediemou of Cotedvoire.

Mr. Moon was immediately suspended from the ongoing 6th WTF World Junior Taekwondo Championships and received a two-year suspension from all WTF-promoted or sanctioned- World or Continental championships.

The Board announced that Moon was sanctioned as he “who upon receiving the decision of superiority sheets from the judges, declared the Hong contestant as the winner, despite the fact that three sheets favored Chung while only two sheets favored Hong; a decision that resulted in a protest, which the Competition Supervisory Board had to reverse.”

In a related case, Mr. Sang Soon Lee received a unanimous suspension and non-invitation to officiate at one WTF-promoted championship for his lack of professionalism and undesirable comments to other international referees in the Referees’ Section.

The Board announced, “According to several eye-witness accounts, the referee (Mr. Lee) had conversations with the president and delegation of the Spanish team in an animated and excited manner that is unprofessional for an international referee.” 

N. Da Christophe Ediemou received a strong warning from the Board as he, who upon receiving the decision of superiority sheets of the referee and judges, did not interfere when the wrong contestant was declared the winner.

A strong warning was also given to Jose Molero Lopez for “making undesirable comments and acting in an animated and excited manner to the international referees in the Referees’ Section, and to the public.

Besides the sanctions, the WTF plans to announce a list of several “good international referees” attending the 6th World Junior Taekwondo Championships and award them during the closing ceremony on July 31.