The Court of Arbitration for Sport has accused the Japanese Olympic Committee of being "overzealous" in its attempt to get hammer thrower Koji Murofushi onto the International Olympic Committee's athletes' commission.
Murofushi, who won a bronze medal for Japan in the men’s hammer at the London 2012 Olympics, last month lost his appeal at CAS against disqualification from an election to become a member of the commission.
In its reasoning, published today, CAS said: "The panel concludes to uphold the decision of the (IOC) Executive Board and in turn dismisses the appeal. Having said this the panel would like to add that - at least to a significant extent - the candidate was a victim of an overzealous (national Olympic Committee) and that his own actions were neither motivated by a desire to cheat nor can they be equated to dishonesty."
CAS had dismissed Murofushi's challenge, supported by the JOC, of an IOC decision excluding him from the August 11 vote last year, after he was accused of breaking election rules by distributing promotional material to athletes in the Olympic Village dining hall.
Murofushi's own reputation was not tarnished by the ban, the CAS said.
The hammer thrower was understood to have originally topped the athletes' commission poll.
In March, CAS dismissed an appeal filed by Mu-Yen Chu, a former taekwondo athlete from Chinese Taipei, and the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee against the IOC, also in relation to last year's athletes' commission elections.
Chu was excluded from the election after he was accused by the executive board of handing out lollipops to athletes in the Olympic Village to promote his candidacy.
The IOC had delayed ratifying the election of the four athletes who ultimately received the most votes – Slovakia’s Danka Bartekova (shooting), Australia’s James Tomkins (rowing), Zimbabwe’s Kirsty Coventry (swimming) and France’s Tony Estanguet (canoeing) – pending the appeals of Murofushi and Chu.
The four will be confirmed at an IOC extraordinary session in Lausanne on July 3 and 4.