I saw something briefly on the tv news last night about a womens running relay team from England not getting a medal, and some scandal over this, but didn't get details.

Today I see this:

SMH: English want all four golds

Pittman has reportedly written a letter of apology to the English team which was disqualified from the 4x400m final at the Melbourne Games after crossing the line 10 metres clear of Australia.

The protest was lodged by Australian runner Tamsyn Lewis after Englishwoman Natasha Danvers-Smith took up an incorrect starting position for the third leg.

Apparently the English are upset about this.

Apparently at least one of the Australian team has offered to give her gold medal to the English team.

Apparently at least some of the English team think this is a great idea!

What the fu...????

I thought these are professional atheletes we're talking about here?

Any sport has rules about what is, and is not acceptable - usually designed, at least in theory, to create a level playing field (eg - all of the rules against performance enhancing drugs). Every professional sportsperson should know that unless they conform to those rules, they're not going to be allowed to win.

What's the controversy here? The English team broke a rule, they get disqualified. It may have been a minor violation of the rules, but so what? They knew the rules as well as anybody did - or they should have, anyway - if they didn't, the English people certainly have a right to be upset with them. They should have known the consequences of not following the rules as well as any other team. They should have spent some time training, rehearsing moves that would allow them to perform at their best while staying in the rules..

For whatever reason - whether ignorance (stupidity?), lack of practice, or just nerves on the day, they've broken the rules, and the prescribed consequences have been applied.

Why are they unhappy with our team? The only analogy I can think of is a 6 year old crying because his little sister dobbed him in to mummy for cheating at Snakes and Ladders.

Even more perplexing - why does anyone on our team feel guilty? Our team was the best performing team who stayed within the rules - they deserve the gold!


I'm a professional too, although my profession is rather more sedentary. I'm so annoyed by this that I'm going to go to work now. My job. Where there are rules (known as a contract, which I signed) which I must follow if I want to get any reward.

What don't they understand?