Gabriele Grunewald Reinstated As US 3K ChampBy: Val Powell - February 25, 2014
It’s official – Gabriele Grunewald is the US Indoor Women’s 3,000-meter champion, according to her reinstatement by USA Track and Field on Monday. Grunewald had previously won the 3K-meter run last Saturday in Albuquerque, New Mexico but was disqualified just hours after being proclaimed the winner.
The quick decision change followed a complaint made by Alberto Salazar, the coach of fourth-placer Jordan Hasay. Salazar alleged that Grunewald made illegal contact with Hasay on the final lap of the race. Track and field officials initially dismissed Salazar’s claim, but the coach pressed on with his protest until Grunewald was stripped of her title, which was given to second-place finisher Shannon Rowbury.
The controversial disqualification generated widespread criticism and protest throughout the track world. Several female contestants in Sunday’s 1,500-meter event locked arms after the race and started marching down the track as a symbol of their support for Grunewald.
USATF spokesperson Jill Greer said that Salazar and the rest of Hasay’s camp withdrew their protest on Monday, prompting the USATF to revoke the disqualification. CEO Max Siegel spoke with Grunewald’s and Hasay’s representatives on Monday, according to the USATF.
An entry in Hasay’s blog states that Hasay withdrew her protest despite her desire and determination to compete in Poland because she “did not want to make a national team under these circumstances”. Her coach declared in the USATF press release that his only intention was to fight for his athlete after seeing the illegal contact.
Third-place finisher Sara Vaughn expressed her admiration for Hasay’s decision to withdraw her protest. She said that Hasay handled the situation well, but that more answers should be sought with regard to the reason behind the initial disqualification.
Grunewald’s disqualification would have meant a spot for Hasay on next month’s IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland. However, Hasay announced her withdrawal from the team, thereby granting Grunewald a spot on the US team along with Rowbury.
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