Martina's bid to reclaim silver rejected

Updated: March 6, 2009, 11:13 AM ET
Associated Press

LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- Netherlands Antilles sprinter Churandy Martina lost his appeal Friday to be reinstated as silver medalist in the 200 meters at the Beijing Olympics.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected Martina's claim that he should be listed as runner-up behind Usain Bolt, who broke the world record in the race.

Shawn Crawford keeps second place, even though the American already gave his silver medal to Martina. Walter Dix of the U.S. keeps the bronze medal.

Martina crossed the line in second place but was disqualified for running out of his lane after a protest by the U.S. team. Martina and his Caribbean island team claimed the protest was filed too late and appealed to CAS, the highest tribunal in sports. The appeal was filed against the International Association of Athletics Federations and U.S. Olympic Committee.

The CAS arbitrator ruled that, under IAAF rules, the decision by the jury of appeal in Beijing is final and not subject to further appeal.

"Furthermore, the sole arbitrator did not find any exceptional circumstances in this matter which could give grounds ... to review a field of play decision," CAS said.

Crawford, the 2004 Olympic gold medalist, originally came in fourth in Beijing. Teammate Wallace Spearmon was third but was disqualified for running out of his lane.

American officials studied video of the race and filed a protest against Martina for the same error. Martina and his team argued that the protest was filed past the 30-minute postrace deadline set by the IAAF.

On a dramatic night in the Bird's Nest stadium on Aug. 20, Bolt set a world record of 19.30 seconds, adding to his earlier world mark in the 100.

Martina crossed the line second in 19.82. Crawford's time was 19.96.

Crawford left the medal for Martina at a hotel during a meet in Zurich, Switzerland, shortly after the Olympics.

"I feel like it was up to me to give it to him," Crawford said in January. "He was going to beat me anyway. He didn't impede in anybody's race. He was told he finished second after all that, he took a victory lap. I can understand his humiliation and embarrassment and all that."


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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