The women’s 3,000 meters at the 2014 USA Indoor Track and Field Championships ended in controversial fashion on Saturday night. Apparent winner Gabe Grunewald ended up getting disqualified after Alberto Salazar, the coach of fourth-place finisher Jordan Hasay, filed a protest claiming Grunewald interfered with Hasay during the bell lap.
Salazar’s protest was initially denied by both race officials and a three-person USATF committee, but the Nike camp — for those who don’t know, Nike sponsors Hasay — kept pressing until, 20 minutes later, Grunewald was disqualified.
The controversial decision led to accusations that Nike exerted undue influence over the officials. Grunewald runs for Brooks.
With Grunewald, who would have won her first national title, disqualified, Nike runner Shannon Rowbury was bumped up into first place. She was followed by Sara Vaughn (a Brooks runner) and Hasay.
The decision has big implications for the upcoming IAAF World Indoor Championships. Both Grunewald and Rowbury would have qualified for the meet, but instead it will be Rowbury and Hasay representing the USA next month (Hasay was given the nod because she met the qualifying time in an earlier meet while Vaugh did not).
[Source: Oregon Live]