News : An athlete, disqualified for spitting in New Zealand


News :

An athlete, disqualified for spitting in New Zealand


Robbie Johnston got a most unexpected surprise / GETTY IMAGES

The extraordinary restrictions and measures resulting from the coronavirus pandemic are leaving us unusual images and situations in the world of sports. In athletics in particular, scenes are being experienced that have never been produced before. Virtual duels thousands of miles apart, multi-lane-spaced races, empty stands, multi-site national championships. But perhaps one of the strangest and most surreal comes from New Zealand.

Cross the finish line first and ... surprise!

It turns out that Robbie Johnston, a 53-year-old Olympian and a long-distance legend from the country, won the National crossover Championships in the 50-54 age category. So far, everything apparently normal. But the bad news for Robbie came after savoring the triumph after crossing the finish line. The organization informed him that he had been disqualified ... for spitting too close to a rival! Apparently at the time of crossing the finish line he did not respect the distance with a rival in this test that was held in the town of Dunedin. The organization commented that they had seen him do it twice over the eight kilometers.

Only disqualified among 300 athletes

What assessment can we make? Many runners and runners have that habit. Soez and unhygienic some will think. Yes. But the vast majority do it almost involuntarily, as a reflex action. And there Robbie got carried away. “I was the only person all day who was disqualified out of more than 300 athletes. I thought it was a joke in bad taste, ”Johnston told the local‘ Stuff ’outlet, puzzled.

According to this New Zealand portal, the race was held under the restrictions of the phase 2 alert that prevails in the area. "While running, avoid spitting or discharging mucus from your nose in full view of others or near other competitors. Anyone deemed to be spitting offensively could be disqualified. " It was one of the organization's warnings. Johnston participated in the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games representing your country.

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