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Last Updated: Friday, 20 August, 2004, 22:49 GMT 23:49 UK
GB wait on medal decision
Britain's Leslie Law
Britain's three-day eventing team will find out on Saturday whether their appeal against Germany's gold medals will be successful.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport heard the case taken by GB, France and the USA on Friday.

A decision is expected to be announced at 1500 BST on Saturday.

Bettina Hoy won individual gold and team gold with Germany but only after her team successfully appealed against a penalty of 12 time points.

Great Britain argued that the equestrian committee didn't have the authority to overturn the judges' decision.

Britain emerged from the dramatic final day with team bronze and an individual silver for Leslie Law.

But if the German appeal had failed, Law would have won Team GB's first gold of the Athens Games.

Pippa Funnell would also have won an individual bronze, while France would have taken gold in the team event, ahead of Britain and the USA.

GB chef de mission Simon Clegg said:

"As I understand it, once a rider crosses the start line the time starts - it is as black and white as that.

"There was complete unanimity between the countries affected that this was an incorrect decision."

It has all been a bit of a farce quite honestly
GB medallist Leslie Law
French technical director Olivier Lepage told BBC Sport: "The appeal jury have contradicted the judges on the ground.

"We do not agree with the decision, and nor do the British or Americans."

Hoy jumped a clear round in Wednesday's first round of showjumping, but was later found to have circled the start area twice.

Rules state that riders are allowed 45 seconds after the bell rings to start their round but during that period Hoy went across the start line but did not start her round, making another circle instead.

Law described the confusion as "a bitter pill to swallow", adding: "It has all been a bit of a farce quite honestly, some of it. Some of the officials should be answerable."

But Britain's representative on the appeal committee which upheld the German appeal believed the panel made the right decision.

"We looked into the situation and we all agreed that the incident was primarily caused by an error in the management of the competition," said Hugh Thomas.

"When errors occur in management it is right to make sure that the rider does not pay the consequences."

However, the French team manager hinted that his leading rider's performance may have been affected by the confusion surrounding Hoy's score.

France's Nicolas Touzaint had been leading the individual standings ahead of the second round of showjumping, but fell to ninth after incurring 19 penalty time points.

Lepage said: "We are happy to have a silver medal (in the team event) but it troubled us not knowing what colour we have.

"It disturbs our athletes and it was difficult for them to deal with. It seems to be a lobbying decision and not a sporting one."

Law, meanwhile, was ecstatic with his silver medal.

"I was lying 10th going into the showjumping so to climb up from there is quite amazing. The horse was on fire tonight, and what a day to be on fire," said Law.

Britain went into the team showjumping phase in fourth place after they were hit by the injury to William Fox-Pitt's mount Tamarillo in the cross country, which cost the team 10 points.

First off, Jeanette Brakewell and Over to You knocked off only one pole, while Mary King had eight penalty points.

But Law went clear and then Funnell on Primmore's Pride produced a faultless display with the team's last ride.

America's then came within one clipped fence of grabbing the bronze.





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SEE ALSO
Eventing chaos explained
19 Aug 04  |  Equestrian


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