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Drummond withdraws

August 27, 2003 01:27 IST
Last Updated: August 27, 2003 01:33 IST

American sprinter Jon Drummond, who held up competition for almost an hour on Sunday after he was disqualified in the 100 metres second round, has withdrawn from the World championships.

Former American champion Drummond, 34, refused to leave the track when he false-started. He was a member of the 4x100 metres relay squad who start their title defence on Saturday.

"During Sunday's 100 metres quarter-finals I felt very strongly that I was disqualified from the race unfairly and I protested my disqualification," Drummond said in a statement on Tuesday.

Jon Drummond"I honestly believe I did not false start. It was never my intention to harm the sport in any way or to inconvenience my fellow competitors or the fans.

"Today I announce that I am withdrawing from the world championships and the remainder of the 2003 track season.

"My spirit is broken because it has always been my desire to provide entertainment for the fans."


On Sunday competition was suspended while Drummond alternately lay on the track, beat his chest and burst into tears.

The heat finally got underway when the American was persuaded to leave the track.

On Monday the International Association of Athletics Federations gave the U.S. federation until 8 p.m. on Tuesday to confirm it would take action against Drummond for bringing the sport into disrepute.

A statement from USA Track & Field said officials had held discussions with Drummond.

"During the course of our discussions with him, Jon Drummond informed us that he was withdrawing from the competition and ending his season," the statement said.

There was no immediate reaction from the IAAF.

Drummond said he had meant only to fight for what he believed were his rights.

"It is unfortunate that what transpired on Sunday has resulted in negative perception for the sport or its athletes," he said.

"I have devoted 15 years of my life to the sport that I love and I have always tried to be a goodwill ambassador.

"It is my hope that positive results will come from what was an unprecedented situation for everyone involved on Sunday night."

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