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Running

Jon Drummond: My Version of the Events

by Jon Drummond

2000 Olympic 4x100m relay gold medalist; 1996 Olympic silver medalist (4x100); 3-time World 4x100m relay champion; 1997 U.S. Outdoor 200m champion; Two-time U.S. Indoor 60m champion (‘93, 2000); 1991 World University Games 200m champion

First of all I appreciate everyone's comments whether positive or negative. But I believe all of you have your facts completely wrong. Unfortunately the print media, most of which weren't even at the event, reported events out of context. My protest, laying on the track was all of 10 to 15 minutes. I did this because I asked to run under protest, a rule that was amended to the no false start rule. Due to what I believe was a language barrier the official replied "no you broke first". So I protested. I clearly did not false start. It was obvious to me that there was a problem with the system, or the possibility of foul play. I FOUGHT. I fought what was clear to the naked eye.

After the protest, I got up and began to leave. One of the team managers ran up to me and said to go back, the coaches have an appeal in and you can run under protest. What also held up the meet was the jury of appeals were no where to be found. I went back to the starting line and stood. The ref came up to me and said, "we will allow you to run under protest." They escorted us off of the track to allow the other heats compete. The meet director Sandro Giovanilli and General Secretary Ishtan Guylyi spoke with me and where apologetic and asked me to walk away to "avoid further scandal." Because I know these men on a personal level, I complied to their wishes.

I know the reports say I rolled on the grass and jumped in the steeplechase pit. That all happened after the fact. That all happened on the warm-up field after I had left the stadium. Unbeknownst to me, they had a camera on me back there, and were showing it on the big screen in the stadium. I wasn't rolling in the grass, I fell limp to the ground because I was enraged with tears to the point of cramps in my stomach and hyperventilation. My coach consoled me and told me to get in the steeplechase water to cool off and calm down. The meet was held up by the fans in the stadium for 45 minutes, who wouldn't allow the race to continue because I was not in the heat. They booed and whistled each time the starter attempted to start the race. I was not in the main stadium nor did I agitate their actions. I am not going to sit here and let any of you make me think if your livelihood was on the line you wouldn't have done everything to protect it.

Say what you will, but I know in my heart and it was obvious to the naked eye, and based on the rules that are in place and my clear understanding of the rules I DID NOT FALSE START. My actions are justified. I did what I had to do. I fought for my rights according to the rules. Could I have acted differently, possibly, but I did NOT expect to be called for a false start nor were my actions premeditated. I reacted to the situation at hand. I staged a peaceful protest, and the fans agreed with my actions and supported me. It could have very easily gone the other way, especially since there is already a political riff between the US and the French, however it didn't, and the fans were in favor of my protest because and I will say it again, I DID NOT FALSE START!

Most of you watch the sport, I am actively a part of this sport. I know the who's who and needless to say most of them felt I was done a disservice. Many of you get angry if someone steals a parking spot from you in the grocery store parking lot, I was robbed of an opportunity to become the World Champion! AND at age 34 that is something worth fighting for!

All the best JON DRUMMOND - CPOTAF@aol.com

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