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    Joseph says decision to strip Alkhaldi of gold 'improper,' elevates case to world body

    Dec 13, 2013

    PHILIPPINE Swimming Incorporated president Mark Joseph is set to elevate to the International Swimming Federation (Fina) the controversy surrounding the decision to recall the gold medal won by Jasmine Alkhaldi in the 100-meter freestyle event of the 27th Southeast Asian Games in Nay Pyi Taw.

    Joseph said he is now drafting a letter to be sent to Fina, with Asian and Southeast Asian swimming federations both copy furnished.

    Alkhaldi had already been awarded the gold medal Thursday night and the Philippine national anthem sung at the Wunna Theikdi swimming pool during the awarding ceremony. But hours later, she was stripped of the medal and a re-swim was scheduled after a jury upheld the protest lodged by Thailand on allegations of a false start.

    Joseph criticized the verdict.

    “The decision by the jury to call for a re-swim was completely improper and irregular, because under the rules of swimming, re-swims are only done in case of a tie,” part of Joseph’s letter read.

    “Jasmine was not disqualified but she is being penalized nonetheless and it is wrong,” added the president of the country’s swimming association.

    “I want to call a stop to the re-swim. That’s not fair. Kalohohan yang ginagawa nila na yan,” said Joseph,  optimistic his effort will not go for naught.

    “Imposibleng hindi nila mapansin yan (Philippine protest),” he added.

    As far as Joseph is concerned, there should be no re-swim.

    “We want to stop the re-swim. The effect of that will be to make the result of last night’s final null. The result last night is final. Hindi dapat kalikutin `yun ng kahit na sino,” Joseph said.

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    “Kung ituloy nila yan,  hindi irerespeto ang resulta niyan.”

    Joseph however, refused to answer when asked if he will advice Alkhaldi not to show up during the re-swim, which is set at 7:30 p.m. of Friday (Manila time).

    “Well, I really can’t make that decision for her or for POC. All I can do is use my channels that are proper, based on my position and understanding of everything,” he said.

    “I haven’t gone to that thought (about asking Alkhaldi to forego participation). I’ve been thinking more about options I have.”

    Reports coming from Myanmar however has it that officials of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) have already hinted about the possibility of not allowing Alkhaldi to join the re-race.

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