Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Earlier this morning, USA Track & Field accidentally released 37 minutes of footage used to disqualify, then un-disqualify, Gabe Grunewald at the 2014 USA Indoor Championships in February. For a video so important, it doesn't show much.

Grunewald, a Brooks athlete, came into contact with Jordan Hasay, a Nike athlete, in the final lap of the women's 3000-meters championship race in Albuquerque. Grunewald won the race, was told she won the race, and actually conducted an I-Just-Won-The-Race interview on NBC Sports Network before being told she hadn't won the race. She was DQ'ed, said USATF, which is sponsored by Nike.


Does the above footage (a 30-second composite) show contact? Yes. Was that ever in dispute? No. The issue was whether USATF followed its own competition rules, and if not, then why. Its own rules, which initially ruled in Grunewald's favor, state a case can't be reopened unless "new conclusive evidence is presented." Chief Public Affairs Officer Jill Geer already said this supposedly new evidence was old footage, from the same angle, on a different screen.

And now you can see it on your screen.

USATF would eventually backtrack, reinstating Grunewald thanks to a collective outcry of its fans and athletes across sponsor lines. But USATF pinned blame like a bow around Jordan Hasay, letting an athlete take the fall for their own lack of leadership and procedure at the highest level. They never let the fans or athletes they represent know exactly what happened, until they did it by accident.

USATF has since renewed its vows with Nike for another 23 years.

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