Gabe Grunewald has been reinstated as the USA Indoor champion for 2014 in the 3,000 meters. Max Siegel, CEO of USA Track & Field, showed his true talent today, in conflict resolution and brought some very passionate parties together to resolve a situation that has lit up the social media over the past 48 hours like few others.
Grunewald reinstated as USA indoor women’s 3,000m champion
INDIANAPOLIS – Gabriele Grunewald has been reinstated as the 2014 USA indoor women’s 3,000-meter champion and named to Team USA for the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships, USATF CEO Max Siegel announced Monday. Grunewald will be joined by Shannon Rowbury in the women’s 3,000m at World Indoors, March 7-9 in Sopot, Poland.
Siegel on Monday spoke with representatives for Grunewald and Jordan Hasay, the two athletes involved in jostling during the women’s 3,000 contested Saturday at the 2014 USA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Albuquerque. Grunewald won the race, followed by Rowbury, Sara Vaughn and Hasay, but she was ultimately disqualified by the Jury of Appeal for clipping Hasay’s stride. The final disqualification was made on the basis of enlarged, digital footage of the legs and feet of both athletes.
Siegel’s conversations included Paul Doyle, Grunewald’s representative, and Alberto Salazar, Hasay’s coach who had filed the initial protest and subsequent appeals. Salazar made clear that Hasay felt withdrawal was the right thing to do, and with the agreement of all parties, Grunewald was reinstated.
“I had productive discussions with both Paul and Alberto,” Siegel said. “Both are passionate people who passionately advocate for their athletes. And both want what is best for the sport and as well and its athletes.
“Our women’s track & field meet officials, who volunteer their time to serve the sport, made a field-of-play decision based on the video evidence they saw,” Siegel said. “They followed the process laid out in our competition rules, with no USATF employee or officer part of the appeal or the decision. We are all looking forward and will address our processes to try to minimize the potential for controversy or misunderstanding in the future.”
“As with all of the competitors who lined up on Saturday, I desperately wanted to make the team to represent the United States at the upcoming World Indoor Track and Field Championships. Since Saturday evening my emotions have ranged from despair to determination to go to Poland and represent my country as best I can. After much thought and consideration, however, I have decided to withdraw my protest as I do not want to make a national team under these circumstances. I wish all members of the USA team going to Poland my best and look forward to continuing to train hard and competing to represent the USA in future World Championship and Olympic Games.” said Hasay.
“I want to thank Max for his leadership in resolving this issue and Jordan for her withdrawal,” Doyle said. “Everyone was in a difficult situation. Jordan is a first-rate athlete and a class act. We appreciate getting this resolved.”
“My intention was what every coach wants – to advocate for my athlete,” Salazar said. “It was a physical race and when I saw the contact and the flag go up, I filed a protest. I appreciate Max’s involvement and wish nothing but the best for Gabe and Shannon in Sopot.”