By Karolos Grohmann
LONDON (Reuters) - A dispute about campaigning delayed the admission of new athletes to the International Olympic Committee on Sunday.
Two athletes who were elected to the commission, which is the athletes' link with the IOC's decision-making process, were excluded on charges they had broken election rules, the IOC said. They may appeal.
Japan's Koji Murofushi, who won bronze in the hammer throw in London, and Taiwanese Mu-Yen Chu were excluded on charges they had campaigned inappropriately, in the wrong places, and using methods that were against the rules.
Because of the dispute, the IOC on Saturday did not vote in four other new members so it could first deal with any legal challenges, IOC chief Jacques Rogge told reporters.
"We had to disqualify two athletes because they infringed the rules. We did not go ahead with the election of the four because there are legal issues," Rogge said in a news conference on Sunday. "There is the right to appeal."
French canoeing gold medallist Tony Estanguet, Zimbabwe swimmer Kirsty Coventry, former Australian Olympic rowing champion James Tomkins and Slovakian shooter Danka Bartekova were set to join as athletes' commission members after being elected by their peers at the London Games.
Rogge said the IOC would proceed with their inclusion after any legal issue was settled: "This can also be done by postal vote."
The commission is composed of 12 athletes, eight summer and four winter, elected for eight years by the athletes who participate in the Olympic Games, and of up to seven athletes appointed by the IOC president to ensure a balance between regions, genders and sports.
Some 6,924 athletes - 64 percent of all eligible voters - chose from among 21 candidates from the same number of countries.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; editing by Sara Ledwith)