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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

USA Track & Field explains why Norfolk State sprinter Kai Cole was disqualified

USA Track & Field explains why Norfolk State sprinter Kai Cole was disqualified


The game of telephone regarding Norfolk State sprinter Kai Cole’s controversial disqualification from this past weekend’s Olympic trials has a new participant.

USA Track & Field itself.

USATF on Sunday provided HBCU Sports with a statement on why Cole, despite running a 10.05 in the 100-meter dash, was ineligible for the trials.

“Beginning with the 2023 USATF Outdoor Championships, USATF implemented qualifying criteria by which athletes now must achieve a legal mark in a USATF-sanctioned meet and/or an event which appears on the WA Global Calendar to qualify for USATF Championships and Olympic Trials,” the statement said. “This updated requirement has been posted under Qualifying Information on the event pages for the 2023 USATF Outdoor Championships2024 USATF Indoor Championships, and 2024 US Olympic Team Trials.

“This change was in line with the implementation of the World Athletics Global Calendar, which was implemented in 2023 to ensure fair and equitable competition worldwide. USATF is committed to ensuring fair competition for all athletes at the USATF Championships and Olympic Trials and this means athletes must qualify at meets operating under USATF/World Athletics Rules.”

Cole, unfortunately, was not the only athlete affected, USATF explains.

“USATF received numerous appeals for entry into the Olympic Trials from meets which did not conform to entry requirements. These marks were rejected for all meets that were not USATF-sanctioned and/or on the World Athletics Calendar. Many athletes filed an appeal for this decision.

“These appeals were reviewed by the appeal subcommittee, an independent committee appointed by men’s track & field, women’s track & field, and the Athletes Commission to review all Olympic Trials appeals. The appeal subcommittee reaffirmed the entry requirements and denied all appeals for marks from meets that did not conform with entry requirements. Of the 1,490 entries in the Olympic Trials, 15 had this issue and were all denied by the appeal subcommittee.”

On Thursday afternoon, Cole released a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, announcing that his appeals had been denied, citing a failure by the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference to have the Outdoor Track & Field Championships sanctioned by USATF.

The MEAC released a statement Friday stating that it had done everything in its power to assist Cole with appeals and that it understood his frustration.

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