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August 24, 2017

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A top swimmer has made some big accusations after missing out on Team Taiwan

TAIPEI, Taiwan — A swimmer who missed Taiwan's national team for the 2017 Taipei Universiade is making waves after posting a viral video airing her complaints about nepotism.

Mitzi Ting (丁聖祐), 22, broke a national record this year to take the gold medal in the 50-meter butterfly and to rank second in the 100-meter butterfly at the National Intercollegiate Athletic Games.

In a video uploaded to Facebook last Friday, Ting accused the Chinese Taipei Swimming Association of picking Taiwan's Universiade team "without rhyme or reason."

"If you are choosing athletes based on the best times, I am the one with the fastest time and going by that, I should have been chosen. So why am I not on the list?" she said.

"It's because I do not have a coach who has sway and I don't know people who have influential connections, who are able to grease the wheels of people in charge of selection, who are known only by people in our circle."

Shortly afterward, Taiwan's Sports Administration offered Ting a spot on the national team, which she declined.

"I don't want to be recruited to the Universiade's swimming team as an exception! I also don't want to affect the rights of other athletes!" she wrote on Facebook on Sunday.

"I raised my concerns and mentioned the problem this time because I want a fair and transparent selection system."

Sports Administration Director Lin Jer-hung (林哲宏) responded that he respected Ting's position and invited her to communicate with the Sports Administration directly.

Probe Underway

The director opened a press conference on Tuesday, saying the Sports Administration would conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the team's selection process, which had been managed by individual sports federations.

Lin said the government would create a web platform so that athletes could file their complaints and request an investigation into their case.

It would also ask the sports federations to publish the selection procedure and criteria used to create its national team roster. All information would be available for athletes to access on the website of the Chinese Taipei University Sports Federation, he said.

"It is very easy for a list of nominated athletes to come under suspicion, and so we ask coaching teams to provide their standards and reasons," he said.

"Making the selection process of our national teams more open and transparent is a target of the next stage of my efforts to reform the sports administration."

The Explanation

In a roster released on July 13, Chinese Taipei Swimming Association named 17 male and seven female swimmers and three coaches to Taiwan's Universiade team, which is headed by Lee Teng-feng (李澄).

Lee told local media that Ting had not made the team because Taiwan was strategizing for the 2018 Asia Games, picking swimmers based on their ability to perform in the 800-meter freestyle and 400-meter medley at the Universiade.

With the exception of Manwen Liao (廖曼汶), who had met the federation's eligibility requirements for the 200-meter butterfly, all remaining female swimmers were chosen strictly based on their potential in the 800-meter freestyle or the 100-meter butterfly, 100-meter backstroke, 100-meter breast stroke or 100-meter freestyle, he said.

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