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2004 OLYMPIC INFO AND NEWS

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Eventing FEI-Olympic ruling

Below is the news info from MSNBC regarding the final appeal by the French in regard to the German infraction of the rules, and a copy of the official statement of the FEI regarding their role in the action:
 

France gets equestrian gold after results overturned
Germany dropped from first to fourth after appeal; Britain gets silver, U.S. wins bronze

The Associated Press

Updated: 11:56 a.m. ET Aug. 21, 2004

 

ATHENS, Greece - France was awarded the gold medal in the three-day equestrian team event and Britain’s Leslie Law got the individual gold after three countries won a joint appeal against an earlier decision that gave both victories to Germany.

The ruling Saturday by the Court of Arbitration for Sport means Germany drops to fourth in the team event while Britain gets silver and the United States takes the bronze.

Since the team event was also a qualifier for the individual medals, the decision stripped Bettina Hoy of her gold medal, giving it to Law. American Kim Severson moved up to silver from bronze and Pippa Funnell of Britain took third.

“We have to accept that decision, but it’s too much to take,” Reinhardt Wendt, the leader of Germany’s equestrian team, said.

In an official statement, CAS said it decided that the judges’ decision to impose a time penalty on Hoy “was of a purely factual nature, falling within its exclusive jurisdiction.”

CAS said the judges’ decision shouldn’t have been reversed by the International Equestrian Federation because the body had no right to do so.

The decision cannot not be appealed.

Initially, the judges gave Germany the gold and France the silver, while Britain took bronze.

But the same officials, concerned that Hoy might have crossed the start line twice on the show-jumping course, then docked Germany 14 points, dropping it from first place to fourth with 147.8 points in a decision that lifted the United States to third.

Germany then lodged a protest and an equestrian appeals committee reversed the judges’ decision — and the Germans reclaimed their gold. Again, France was awarded the silver and Britain the bronze. The United States was left empty-handed.

“It was a shame we had to go to CAS. The eventing world is a close community,” said Will Connell, team leader for the British three-day event team.

“I had sympathy for Bettina, but at the end of the day she made a silly mistake.”

The appeal submitted by the three countries to CAS challenged whether the equestrian appeal committee had the jurisdiction to overturn the judges’ decision.

Henri Serandour, head of the French Olympic Committee, said he was happy with the result but refused to act jubilant.

“From the beginning, I asked for an appeal not to create controversy but to get to the truth, to find out why an appeals committee was allowed to change the ruling of a ground jury,” he said.

“CAS has upheld the judges in their capacity. I am always happy when the rule is respected. I am also happy for the riders, who displayed an exemplary attitude.”

The CAS panel assigned to hear the case was chaired by South African judge Deon van Zyl. Other members included Canada’s Richard McLaren and Pandelis Dedes of Greece.

2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5776734/

 

FEI Press News

21/08/2004

Appeal to the CAS on Eventing Olympic Result accepted

Today 21 August at 16:30, the FEI received the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on the appeal of the National Olympic Committees of France, Great Britain and USA on the Eventing competition of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. The appeal was accepted by the CAS. Consequently, France earns the Team Gold Medal, Great Britain the Silver and USA the Bronze. Leslie Law (GBR) is the new Individual Olympic Champion; followed by Kimberly Severson (USA) and Pippa Funnel (GBR) (complete results will be available on www.athens2004.com as soon as corrected).

The background of the decision made by the CAS is that the FEI Appeal Committee had no jurisdiction to deal with the appeal lodged by the German Federation, against the time penalties awarded to Bettina Hoy (GER) at the conclusion of the Eventing Team Jumping and Individual Qualifier. Bettina Hoy had crossed the starting line twice before commencing her round.

The FEI Appeal Committee had concluded that, as the stadium clock had been restarted when she had crossed the starting line for the second time, the rider had no way to note that her round had already started. In order not to penalise the rider for a competition management problem, the FEI Appeal Committee had removed the 14 points penalties.

While accepting the decision of the CAS and their interpretation of FEI General Regulations on the duties of the Ground Jury and the Appeal Committee, the FEI wishes to emphasise that the decision taken by the Appeal Committee was based on Fair Play and the best interest of the sport, as well as on a different interpretation of the rules.

According to the IOC procedure, the medals will be returned by the respective National Olympic Committees to the IOC and the FEI will redistribute them in due time during a dedicated ceremony.

 

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