ANAHEIM, Calif. – The USATF Board of Directors on Friday voted to reinstate Andrew Bumbalough to an 8th-place finish in the men’s 3,000 meters at the 2014 USATF Indoor Track & Field Championships in Albuquerque.
Earlier this week at USATF’s Annual Meeting, the USATF Rules Committee adopted a new rule (Rule 158) that will enable the Games Commission to take action on clear errors, stating: “Within 72 hours after the last event of a competition, or before a subsequent round, results can be corrected by the Games Committee if administrative error is detected, such as incorrect calculation of combined-event scores, placing or other errors based on clear and irrefutable factual evidence.” Such corrective action will not require a formal appeal.
That rule was not in place during the 2014 USATF Indoor Championships. The board on Friday therefore took the step to reinstate Bumbalough to correct the error, recognizing in the future such matters will be handled by the Games Committee.
“We are pleased to correct this error and most of all to have taken the necessary steps to ensure it does not happen again,” USATF Chair and President Stephanie Hightower said. “Learning from our mistakes and correcting them when and where we can is key to continuing to improve our sport.”
Bumbalough was erroneously disqualified during the men’s 3,000m in Albuquerque, and the window to appeal the DQ closed before he had an opportunity to appeal or challenge the DQ. USATF rules at the time provided no mechanism for an overturning of a field-of-play decision made by officials after the appeal window had closed, thereby leaving his disqualification in the official results.
“Having clear rules that address these situations is critical to ensure that everyone understands the roles, responsibilities and authority of our meet operations,” said USATF CEO Max Siegel. “The National Office worked closely with the board and the Hersh Commission to ensure these areas were addressed. Authority for these decisions has always resided with our officials, and now our rules give them the specific mechanisms necessary for future, similar situations.”
USATF President and Chair Stephanie Hightower this spring commissioned a special task force chaired by Robert Hersh to inquire into the DQ decision, potential remedies to it and potential solutions moving forward.
All of the commission’s recommendations were adopted at the 2014 Annual Meeting by Rules Committee. To review the Hersh Report issued in July, visit https://usatf.org/usatf/files/7f/7f0869d8-e192-42cf-8e23-6172d19231e9.pdf