Drummond: My Version of the Events
by Jon Drummond
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
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