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I've been watching sport since my dad first dragged me along to watch Leicester City against Fulham in 1974 and if - in the intervening 34 years - I've experienced a more bizarre day in a sports arena than Saturday in the Taekwondo Hall in Beijing then it's temporarily escaped my memory.

I'm not often lost for words, but I was beginning to reach the bottom of the box by the time we left 12 hours after we'd arrived.

If the hour's confusion that surrounded Britain's Sarah Stevenson's unprecedented reinstatement wasn't enough, we then had Cuban heavyweight Angel Matos getting up off the floor after being disqualified and kicking the referee in the head.

Sarah Stevenson contests her defeat

Just to put the tin lid on it, there were unsavoury scenes after the men's medal ceremony when Greek supporters fought with security officials in the stands after they tried to throw flags down to Alexandros Nikolaidis. For a while it looked like it might get out of hand as flags were confiscated and water bottles were hurled down on to the mat instead.

Just another ordinary day in the sometimes wild world of taekwondo, you might think. But there are obvious and very serious implications for a sport still convincing many that it's worth a place at the Olympics.

First of all, it simply cannot have any repeat of the judging fiasco that saw Stevenson (fighting in the +67kg) first exiting the Games and then brought back in.

Take the point-scoring process out of the hands of people who too often this week - for whatever reason - appear to have not been up to the job.

The sport needs to perfect the electronic body armour that automatically registers shots as soon as possible. The British team in particular will tell you there are still teething problems with the device, but the current system is clearly outdated.

Four people, who initially missed Stevenson's score in the first place, are unlikely to admit they were wrong when they're called together in the middle of the mat for a very public committee meeting with the referee.

And let's have video replays for contentious decisions. How about coaches having two or three appeals per fight? If the protest is upheld they get the points - if it isn't, their charge gets a penalty. That should ensure they don't waste time lodging spurious appeals.

Cuba's Angel Valodia Matos

Just think of the drama we would have had if a video replay watched by everyone in the arena and the millions back at home on TV had decided the Olympic futures of China's big gold medal hope and Stevenson.

It's the 21st century for goodness sake. If Wimbledon, with all its tradition, can embrace Hawk-Eye, then what's stopping taekwondo?

I heard a whisper backstage on Saturday evening that the coaches of every other nation were all set to storm the mat and stage a mass sit-in if the blazers hadn't upheld Britain's appeal. It also seemed this dismay at the quality of the officials wasn't just restricted to the British team this week.

They seemed to understand it's fabulous for a sport like taekwondo to enjoy the worldwide exposure an Olympics brings. With that comes a responsibility though to get things right and display a modicum of integrity.

It's to the sport's enormous credit that it acted rapidly and correctly on Saturday to right the wrongs.

It also makes you wonder what might have happened if GB's Aaron Cook (who missed out on bronze in the 80kg) had benefited from an appeal the night before.

Nick Mullins is a BBC presenter and commentator focusing on judo and taekwondo. Our FAQs should answer any questions you have.


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