Vila Times

Athletics Fiji still waiting for decision on disqualified Pacific Games athlete

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Athletics Fiji is waiting for a decision on their complaint forwarded to the Pacific Games council tribunal after its athlete Aaron Powell was disqualified from the 100 metres race in the Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu last month.

Powell was disqualified after race officials claimed he made a break before the start of the 100 metres final, Fiji Times reports.

Athletics Fiji chief development officer Joseph Rodan Jr hopes for a favourable decision.

“We were told that the tribunal was made up of professionals who are based in Auckland and who will look at all the evidences,” he said.

“They will also see the comments from the start referee. Our submission form had questioned the fact that you cannot disqualify someone in any international meet after the 100 metres race is over. If it is not recalled by the starter then it is an legitimate race.”

The organisers say they lacked proper equipment for the race.

“At the start, the start referee and the co-ordinator both called a recall because of the crowd and the lack of equipment to inform the athlete that he had broken and were unable to stop the race,” Pacific Mini Games athletics director Barry Mullins said when questioned by this newspaper

“If we had enough guns, we would have recalled, disqualified him and have another restart.”

Powell came first in the race, but was disqualified and a Samoan athlete was awarded the gold medal.