Puerto Rican 4×4 team loses gold medal in W55 DQ at worlds

This is odd. WMA reports two months after the fact: “Following a protest made on the W55 relay result in Porto Alegre, that was not dealt with by the officials at the time. The matter was registered but not sent/given to the Jury of Appeal during the championships, therefore it has now has been dealt with retrospectively. Statements and official pictures show that the athlete from the [Puerto] Rico team had clearly infringed the rules of competition, and therefore a retrospective decision has been made and the results of the W55 4x400m will be revised as followed below, with the team from Puerto Rico being disqualified.” The new results shown Puerto Rico losing the gold and Britain, Australia and Colombia moving up a place. (The American team, with two W60s dropping down, went from fifth to fourth.) Also FYI: WMA has updated its world record lists as of Dec. 15, 2013. Porto Alegre accounts for 25 new WRs — 17 by the womenfolk. Three Olathe WRs are listed as well.

Puerto Rican incoming runner hands off (illegally) from the infield in 4×4 relay at worlds. Can anyone ID the grass runner? Why was she there?

According to Facebook post Nov. 18 by British relayist Laura Mahady: “Team GB 4 x 400m team: Jane Horder, Averil McClelland, Fiona Argent and myself. Just received news that we have been promoted to GOLD MEDAL position by World Masters Association following the appeal.”

Here's how the W55 results looked in the original results, which are still online.

Here’s how the W55 results looked in the original results, still online.

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December 18, 2013

8 Responses

  1. Laura Mahady - December 18, 2013

    Hi, for some reason the number two Puerto Rican relay member ran down the grass on the inside of the track on the home straight. You should be able to see the photos on my Facebook page, I have made them public https://www.facebook.com/laura.mahady
    All the best, Laura

  2. Anthony Treacher - December 19, 2013

    Why on earth was that not caught by the Porto Alegre officials at the time?

    What else did they miss?

  3. Anthony Treacher - December 19, 2013

    I am personally very irritated by this.

    First, how can my British federation BMAF explicity refuse to accept results from WMG events (WMG Torino 2013) on the grounds that WMG events are not properly officiated, when this happens at a WMA world championships?

    Second, you could not experience this debacle even in connection with a school sports event. It sets my Masters Athletics, for which I work, back a hundred years.

  4. Laura Mahady - December 19, 2013

    My take on the whole debacle is that the relays were on the final day, many of the officials had had enough, and with good reason. The previous two days the weather had been absolutely atrocious: thunder, lightening and monsoon type downfalls of rain. For the athletes it was bad enough but the officials were out ALL day in it. The electrics all blew up etc etc From the photos it is fairly clear that the W55 relay problem was witnessed & I am led to believe someone raised a flag. However nothing was done. We were vocal immediately after the race but again no one wanted to respond. Thankfully our appeal was upheld, so we got there in the end…but I have not seen my gold medal yet.

  5. Christa Bortignon - December 19, 2013

    Anthony, I take this opportunity to let you know that both Canadian(CMA) and WMA have accepted my World record from Torino 2013. The Italian meet director provide a complete package of all required documents including the zero-test image, foto finish and event results.

  6. Matt McCubbins - December 19, 2013

    Congrats Christa! Both for achieving the World Records AND for successfully navigating the bureaucracy of record submission!

  7. Anthony Treacher - December 19, 2013

    (Christa. Very satisfying because I have worked for this. It should represent the end of the WMA-WMG schism once and for all. And I hope BMAF finally gets the message.)

  8. Tony Echeandia - December 22, 2013

    I agree with Laura, the last day of the meet everyone was a bit laid back, to be expected in latin America, but other than this mishap (which was an error made by my own country) all the officiating was spectacular!! It is the first and only World Championship that I was allowed time to set up my blocks and first hurdle without arguing that I needed to do so. I can’t remember who the starting official was but I think he was American and he was a complete gentleman, at the end of the meet I made it a point of thanking him for being generous to us athletes with time to prepare our blocks and hurdles. It’s unfortunate what happened to our women’s team, but it is what it is. Happy Holidays!!!!

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