Disqualified from the Olympics

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I don’t understand all these disqualifications from the Olympic Games. I think we are losing perspective of what the Olympic Games are.

First, all the Badminton players being disqualified for not trying in matches. Then a few other athletes were removed from the games for tweeting questionable tweets, two more sent home early for posing with guns for photos, and finally a runner for jogging during his qualification heat in the 800 meters.

All these things, in my book were complete bullshit. First the badminton. Who sets up a tournament where you are rewarded for losing a match? And if that is the way the brackets are set, it is better to lose, then lose. Does the badminton officials not realize that these teams are trying to win the Olympic Games and not each and every point, game and/or match. Where does it stop? Maybe we should disqualify Serena Williams because she decided not to try to win a point in one of her games. Or maybe disqualify Vino from the road race when he coasted down a the hill and did not “try” as hard as he could at all times. There are millions of reasons athlete try during different times during their competitions. It’s not up to an official to, subjectively, decide when it is important to try and when it isn’t.

The same goes with the 800 meter runner. He is considered a medal contender for the 1500 meters and must have decided that the 800 wasn’t going to be good for him. That is the way it works. Maybe he should have just not started to begin with, but I have no idea what situation he was in with his country, federation or sponsors, etc., so I don’t really know about that. But, if the guy is trying to win a medal in the Olympics and thinks that running hard in a 800 meter qualifying race will be detrimental to that purpose, then by all means, he should jog. (They did reinstate the guy to run in the 1500 meters.)

The tweet is a little different. The tweet was racist. But, that really doesn’t have anything to do with the Olympic Games. Is every athlete that competes in the games going to eventually have to go through a background check to prove they are politically correct in every aspect of their lives? If she would have done it a year ago, it would have no bearing on her participation. I don’t approve of the tweet one bit, but it has nothing to do with the competition.

And finally, the Australian guys who posed in LA with guns is another silly thing. Guns are a serious deal in Australia. As they should be here. They let the boys swim, but they had to leave London right after their competition and don’t get to use social media for a month. What does that have to do with sports? Nothing. They weren’t doing anything illegal in the US. I doubt it was illegal in Australia, so what’s the big deal. I hate guns. I think our gun laws are archaic. Not even close to addressing the situation we have with modern firearms. But, this has nothing to do with the Olympics. It’s just a couple guys posting some stuff on the internet for fun.

If we’re kicking guys out of the Olympics, how about the British Sprint Team who “fell” at the start to get a restart when they thought they started badly. I’m not a track rider, so I don’t know the accepted policy for this, but from my perspective, it is bullshit once again. The guy didn crash. Crashing involved falling not on purpose. Falling on purpose is nothing close to crashing. I don’t even know the wording of the rule, but it is cheating in my book. There must be something I don’t get because the coach of the French team seemed to be okay with fake crash and said the British guys were best.

I say, so what. They got a bad start and should have to should how great there are when they start like shit. Then we really see who is best when they blow the gun off. And blow the gun off only once, not twice. It isn’t like a false start in swimming. It is a rule for restarting after a mishap, not an intentional mishap.

Anyway, all these things seems crazy to me. Crazy that they are even in the media, let alone decide who can compete or not compete in the Olympic Games. This isn’t a popularity contest, it is a sporting event.

Boys with guns, with internet access, have to go home in Australia.

Faked crash victim, Philip Hindes, on the ground, wanting a restart.

15 thoughts on “Disqualified from the Olympics

  1. Touriste-Routier

    Steve, I can’t disagree with you here on anything.

    Clearly Hindes “took a dive”, all good track riders are taught how to do this, it is a well known loophole in the rules, and not illegal.

    The broad mishap rule eliminates subjectivity over any incident at the start, and these abuses are relatively rare. People would be screaming about injustice if the rule was more strict, and officials made the wrong call over a more legitimate mishap…

  2. Ettore Bombino

    Steve my company sent me to work in Australia back in 2004. I was living in Melbourne at the time and one day a small convinient store down the street on Queen’s was robbed at gunpoint. Australia has one of the toughest gun laws in the world but somehow criminals find ways to obtain guns. I also noticed while living there that many crimes are also commited using knives and your typical holdup is done by two or three thugs. It is human nature that you are dealing with no matter where you go or what laws are on the books.

  3. Liam

    I’ve found it quite entertaining how worked up people have gotten over the Hindes crash (I read some comments elsewhere on the Internet, where people who clearly have never raced a bicycle chime in with hilariously uninformed-but-unwavering opinions). Or Hindes’ “crash,” if you prefer. Regardless of how you look at it, it’s within the rules. Or perhaps we should say, regardless of what Hindes said about the crash after the race, it’s within the rules.

    Steve, regarding the badminton thing, you say “Who sets up a tournament where you are rewarded for losing a match?” This was my exact sentiment when I heard about the DQs. So I totally agree with you there. You cannot blame the badminton players (though, to be fair, they could learn a thing or two about throwing a match and still making it look like they’re giving it an effort), you have to blame the rules makers. It’s a game, whereby the players are given a set of rules, and an ends (gold medal), and they will perform whatever means are best to give them a shot at the medal. Simple as that, in pretty well every sport. Hence penalties in football, and doping suspensions in cycling.

    But you lost me on the Hindes crash. Could be that I race track a bunch and so this wasn’t something outrageous to me. But something that surely hits home with the majority of American bike racers: Are you telling me you’ve never been involved in a “crash” in a criterium and been awarded a free lap? Maybe I’m just crazy and totally unethical for having taken free laps on two or three different occasions when I didn’t really go down too hard. I just came up to the crash, and rather than lose all chance at winning the race, I bumped into someone’s wheel, clipped out, and sort of stumbled over. Aka “crashed,” and was legally allowed to take a free lap.

    Rules are rules, and will always be exploited fully by the participants.

  4. tilford97 Post author

    Liam-Like I said above, I’m not a track racer by any means, but it still stinks. I read the rule. It says mishap. By not definition of the word mishap is not what happened here. It was an intentional fall.

    Most all of us have taken a free lap when we didn’t really have to. But I can tell you 100% for sure, I would never do that in the Olympic games when winning a gold medal is at stake. We all realize that is pretty much breaking the rules, but we do it because it is accepted. Those gray areas aren’t and shouldn’t be in play when there are such high stakes involved. And the Olympics are the highest stakes for the track, so it is a foul.

  5. Forrest

    What about the Judo dude getting kicked out for a pot positive? Really with all the other doping that goes on at the olympics they are going to pop this dude for weed brownies? Yet it is ok for all those Olympic swimmers to get shitfaced on booze at the clubs after their events?

  6. John K

    There was a French guy who started the RR only to drop out a kilometer or two into it so that he was eligible to race some track events if I remember correctly. He knew it was BS and even went on record apologizing to his teammates. The article was on Cyclingnews somewhere a week or two ago.

  7. Seis_pendejos

    Hate to come down on you, but ethical behaviour is not selective. You can’t say that you (and everyone else – although I haven’t) have taken a free lap when you didn’t really need to but say that you wouldn’t do it in the Olympics when you have a gold medal on the line and you and every other team/country in the building have been taught and trained to the very same thing that Hindes did.

    The worst free lap violations I remember were by a guy who would intentionally skid his rear tire til it flatted with 6 laps to go and get his free lap, badgering the guys in the pit to throw him in at the front of the race. You may remember him from the late 80’s. He also dive bombed corners and generally was stressful to ride near. After the race, you’d hear people say, “Man, that was the hardest race I’ve done all year. I spent the whole race in the M——y Zone!”

  8. Seis_pendejos

    Regarding the French guy, he had nothing to apologize for. His federation (as well as the German Fed) made the decision that as an additional track rider (both former world champions) their countries stood a better chance of medaling than their compatriots on the road (or MTB in the case of the Germans).

  9. andres

    The crucial difference between the badminton disqualification and why Hindes was not thrown out involves the fans: badminton fans pay to see individual matches, while cycling fans don’t pay for individual laps.

  10. Oli

    Silly article. Just verbal point scoring without much thought.

    eg, racist Tweet. You’ve overlooked the fact that the Olympics has a stated set of ideals of harmony for the human race.

    A participant violating those rules in an obvious way must expect the consequences.

    And to do so does not mean you need to reach for the absurd logical conclusion of ‘ethics testing’ for every athlete.

  11. Pete S

    Steve – you need to do some more fact checking.

    The two Australian athletes who were sent home have previous form for gross stupidity and in one case, a very serious assault on another swimmer.

    Both were told prior to going to the Olympics that they needed to keep their heads down and compete. Instead they did their stupid boys will be boys stunt.

    Guns are a big deal here in Australia and rightly so after a few horrific incidents (one of which – Hoddle Street, I lived not more then 100 meters from and heard and saw the whole thing).

    In the end both athletes AGAIN demonstrated their singular stupidity. On top of what they have done previously the Aus Olympic committee decided that they didn’t deserve to stay once they had competed and so were to be sent home. One of them is now holidaying in Crete (os similar) on a lovely yacht – the same one who declared bankruptcy so he could avoid the civil payout after he caved in a team mates face with his elbow.

    Their history caught up with them. Not one act. So next time check your facts a little more.


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