ATHENS OLYMPICS: Germanequestrian gold faces appeal

19th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

19 August 2004 , ATHENS - France, Britain and the US will lodge an appeal against Germany's gold medal in the Olympic equestrian three-day team event before the Court of Arbitration in Sport, the French Olympic Committee said. French Olympic Committee head Henri Serandour made the announcement after a meeting with the teams, confirming statements made immediately after the competition on the previous night. Germany won the gold ahead of France, Britain and the US, but were then stripped of the medal becaus

19 August 2004

ATHENS - France, Britain and the US will lodge an appeal against Germany's gold medal in the Olympic equestrian three-day team event before the Court of Arbitration in Sport, the French Olympic Committee said.

French Olympic Committee head Henri Serandour made the announcement after a meeting with the teams, confirming statements made immediately after the competition on the previous night.

Germany won the gold ahead of France, Britain and the US, but were then stripped of the medal because competition judges ruled that their final rider Bettina Hoy had crossed the start line twice.

The judges imposed penalty points on Hoy which dropped the Germans to fourth place, But their counter protest to be reinstated as gold- medallists was granted by an appeal panel of the ruling body FEI.

Hoy went to win the individual event late Wednesday as well.

This is beyond my wildest dreams," said the elated Hoy when it all appeared to be over in a positive way.

"The other team members and coaches supported me so well," added Hoy, who lives with her Australian husband Andrew (a Sydney team event gold medallist) in Britain.

But as the Germans received their medals from Britain's Princess Anne, the French team's technical director Olivier Le Page announced that his team, Britain and the US planned to bring the case before the arbritration court.

The drama unfolded after Andreas Dibowski (riding Little Lemon), Hinrich Romeike (Marius), Frank Osthold (Air Jordan), Ingrid Klimke (Sleep Late) and Bettina Hoy (Ringwood Cockatoo) took the gold in the event combining dressage, cross-country and show-jumping with 133.80 points.

France won the silver with 140.40 points and the bronze went to Britain with 143.00 points.

But half an hour later France were declared winners after officials said that Hoy had crossed the start line of the final show- jumping portion twice.

The judges imposed 12 penalty points for exceeding the allowed time, saying that the clock should have started after Hoy crossed the line the first time.

Germany appealed the ruling and were reinstated as gold medallists by an arbitration panel of the ruling body FEI, which said that the judges had set back the clock at the start and given a valid result when she crossed the finish line.

"It is like football. The referee can't call a penalty and later say he made a mistake," said Hoy in explanation of the on-the-spot decision-making in the sport.

The 12 penalty points would have thrown Hoy out of contention in the individual event, but instead she won the gold there as well with 41.60 points.

The silver medal went to Leslie Law of Britain (Shear L'Eau) with 44.40 points and Kimberley Severson (Winsome Adante) of the US won bronze with 45.20 points.

"It was a wrong decision of the (FEI) arbitration panel," said Le Page.

French rider Nicolas Touzaint, who threw away the individual gold in the show-jumping said: "This is like a bad movie. It is surreal. The decision is against France, Britain and the United States."

DPA

Subject: German news

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