Heading into the U.S. group trials in Colorado Springs in early 2020, Wasowicz was brimming with confidence and poised for destruction. However throughout her matches towards rival Cirrus Lingl that day, curious issues occurred, in line with Wasowicz and Ruiz — their claims backed by each video footage and the unbiased investigation.
John DiPasquale, the president and chairman of USA-NKF, which has monumental affect over the game, walked behind the scorer’s desk a number of instances throughout Wasowicz’s matches towards Lingl. DiPasquale runs a high dojo in Illinois the place Lingl educated, and through one of many early matches between the fighters that day, Wasowicz grew incensed, feeling DiPasquale was attempting to affect the scoring in favor of Lingl. Throughout a break, Wasowicz and Ruiz determined that if it occurred once more, she would complain to the referee.
A video of a type of later matches reveals Wasowicz gesturing in consternation towards DiPasquale as he hovered behind the desk throughout a scoring overview. He’s additionally seen pacing behind the desk, maybe simply nervous for his fighter, in the course of the motion. However as the united statesO.P.C. identified, it appeared inappropriate and raised doubts.
Wasowicz contends that she had Lingl crushed earlier within the day however was not awarded the factors she deserved. That outcome stored Lingl within the competitors, and ensured she and Wasowicz would struggle once more, within the ultimate. There, Lingl, an skilled in her personal proper, received with a deft head kick. Livid, Ruiz unloaded on DiPasquale, charging that the president had affected the result.
When reached by telephone for touch upon the investigation, DiPasquale mentioned, “Not an opportunity, pal,” and hung up.
Others within the U.S. federation dismissed complaints of bias. “Maya is among the finest we’ve got,” mentioned Brody Burns, the pinnacle coach of the U.S. Olympic group and a sensei at a high dojo in Texas. “Nevertheless it’s not like she misplaced to a no identify. She misplaced to a superb fighter.”
Wasowicz agrees that she and Lingl are evenly matched. However on that day, she felt she was higher, and that she ought to have earned a spot within the all-important Paris qualifying occasion.