March 4, 2018 / 8:14 PM / in 9 months

Athletics: Disqualification chaos continues to the end of championships

BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) - Britain’s women’s 4x400m relay team won bronze on Sunday after successfully appealing against their disqualification as a row over rules that has blighted the world indoor championships reignited right at the end.

Athletics - IAAF World Indoor Championships 2018 - Arena Birmingham, Birmingham, Britain - March 4, 2018 Great Britain, U.S. and Poland team members celebrate with their medals after the women's 4x400m relay REUTERS/Hannah McKay

The British team originally finished fourth in the day’s final session but were elevated to third after the second-placed Jamaican team were disqualified for an infringement at the changeover.

Britain were then themselves thrown out for obstruction before becoming the only one of four teams who subsequently lodged appeals — silver medalists Poland, Ukraine and Jamaica were the others — to win their case after judges viewed video evidence.

“A fourth appeal had been filed by the British team against the disqualification of their team under Rule 163.2 (Obstruction),” a statement from the Jury of Appeal said.

“The Jury of Appeal examined the video evidence and accepted the appeal. The British team will be reinstated.”

Disqualifications have marred the four-day championships with 21 teams or individuals red carded, mostly for running outside their lane.

The controversy has prompted calls for a full rules review, with eight-times world champion Michael Johnson branding the disqualifications “absurd”.

“I believe the IAAF will have to do something about this,” he said. “The problem will continue with lane infringements. This was on an absurd level.

“If you step on the line one time, you don’t get much advantage. When it amounts to this number of disqualifications and confusion, I think fans get to a point where they zone out, thinking they don’t know who won. That’s no fun for the fans.”

In one 400m heat on Thursday every competitor was disqualified, the first time this has happened at a major championships.

Reporting by Neil Robinson; Editing by Clare Fallon

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