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China appeals cycling decision

08-04-2012 08:45 BJT Special Report:2012 London Olympic Games |

By Chen Xiangfeng in London

One day after China was stripped of the gold medal in the women's team sprint track cycling event, the cycling team announced on Friday that it would appeal to the International Cycling Union and International Olympic Committee.

"We were relegated to the silver medal moments after the finish," the appeal letter read. "Based on the Olympic spirit and respect for the referee's rule at that time, we accepted that and attended the award ceremony because we wanted to show our sportsmanship at that time.

"We later took a close look at the video replay and studied the rules again. It's the first time this event has been included at the Olympic Games. We found the rules are not complete and do not give a specific explanation of some offenses. That's why we appealed — because we could not find the specific rule to judge our riders' offense."

Coach Daniel Morelon of France went so far as to deny that Guo Shuang and Gong Jinjie had violated any rules.

Guo and Gong, who broke the world record twice in the preliminary rounds, had just finished a victory lap and started celebrating with officials from the Chinese team when they found out they were not Olympic champions thanks to a lane change in the final.

The organizing committee's official reports said the team had made an early relay, citing a specific regulation. China's appeal letter asserts that the regulation in question was not violated.

The team claims the judges had a bad attitude when asked to watch a replay of the infraction.

On a frantic first day of competition at the Velodrome, British riders Jess Varnish and Victoria Pendleton were also disqualified for making an early change in the first round.

Guo, the bronze medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the women's sprint, was competing in the Keirin event tonight. She was leading her heat in the first round before China Daily went to print.

Controversy everywhere

There have been a series of disputed judgments at the Games.

In the women's table tennis singles final, China's No 1 Ding Ning was brought to tears following a succession of refereeing decisions that went against her.

Ding was left visibly shaken when the umpire awarded a point to opponent Li Xiaoxia for illegal serving and a point for a red card for toweling down without authorization.

Li went on to win, 4-1, claiming gold and sending favorite Ding to silver.

"I think the umpire was a little bit too strict with me. I asked the translator why, and she said my serving was not right. It's not high enough," Ding complained after the loss. "For one or two years, I've always served the ball like that, and she didn't even give me a warning before giving me a card."

The biggest controversies came in the men's gymnastics team competition and the men's 400m freestyle swimming.

The Japanese were initially fourth after a fall by Kohei Uchimura on the pommel horse.

But they protested the score given to Uchimura, and officials decided to accept the team's appeal and award Japan the silver at the expense of Great Britain, which finished third.

In swimming, South Korean Park Tae-hwan, the defending champion in the 400m freestyle, was initially disqualified after officials ruled that he false-started in his morning heat. He won an appeal to overturn the decision.

In the first three days at the Games, there were also appeals and changes in judo, hockey, archery and epee event in fencing.


Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: China Daily

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