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Canoe Champion Reinstated on Appeal

September 28, 2000|From Associated Press

Martin Doktor of the Czech Republic won an appeal today and will get to defend his Olympic title in the finals of the men's 500-meter solo canoe event.

The off-water ruling was the biggest news on the first of two days of semifinals. There were no U.S. boats competing, although four will be in action on Friday.

One American boat, the men's K-4 featuring Angel Perez, already has earned a spot in the finals.

Five International Canoe Federation officials held a hearing to determine whether Doktor violated a rule requiring paddlers to be at least five meters wide of all opponents. The race in question was a first-round heat Wednesday in which Doktor was second to Germany's Andreas Dittmer.

Two judges watching the race from the water did not report a possible violation. Doktor's lane happened to be the only one that fell under the jurisdiction of both judges.

The Germans protested immediately following the race and the competition committee agreed. The same panel dismissed a protest by Doktor, prompting him to appeal to the ICF jury.

"While respecting the decision of the competition committee, the jury accepted the reports from the course umpires," jury president Ulrich Feldhoff said in a statement.

"Given that no video evidence was permitted and the course umpires' decision clearly indicated uncertainty as to a breach of the five-meter rule, Martin Doktor has been reinstated."

EQUESTRIAN: A clutch round with no faults by Margie Goldstein Engle and Perin put the U.S. in contention for a medal in team show jumping. Engle, of Wellington, Fla., rode Perin to the only clean round by an American in the morning session leaving the U.S. riders tied for fourth with 12 faults.

Germany led with three clean rounds for zero faults, followed by France and Switzerland with eight faults each. Brazil also had 12 faults.

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