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Rediff.com  » Sports » Germany lose golds in legal battle

Germany lose golds in legal battle

August 21, 2004 21:28 IST

Germany lost their two gold medals in the equestrian three-day eventing competition when France, Britain and the United States won their appeal to sport's highest appeal body on Saturday.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled that Bettina Hoy should have suffered time penalties in Wednesday's show jumping final, costing her the individual gold and Germany the team title.

France, which had finished in second in team competition, will now receive the team gold medal.

Britain move up from bronze to silver and the United States go to bronze after initially finishing fourth.

In the three-day individual competition, Britain's Leslie Law moves up to gold, American Kimberly Severson to silver and Briton Pippa Funnell to bronze.

France, Britain and the United States wanted to have Germany stripped of their team and individual golds because they said a 14-point time penalty assessed by the show jumping grand jury should not have been revoked by the appeal committee.

The appeal committee said Hoy was unfairly punished because of an error made by organisers -- failure to start the clock as she crossed the starting line on her final warm-up in the show jumping leg. They nullified the grand jury time penalty.

"Justice has been done. We have the feeling that the same rules apply to everybody," said French rider Nicolas Touzaint.

"It's a brilliant gold medal, but unfortunately there will be no Marseillaise, no podium, no lap of honour."

The French Olympic Committee said: "The Court of Arbitration for Sport ... has overturned the decision of the appeals panel of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) which gave the Olympic title to the German team.

"In effect, the Court of Arbitration for Sport, in accordance with the rules of the FEI, ruled that the appeals panel was not empowered to revise the decision of the arena stewards concerning the 14-second penalty given to the German rider Bettina Hoy."

Erik Kirschbaum in Athens
Source:
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