In the world of USA Track and Field, this weekend was an interesting one. Here is a link to get you started. In short, and I watched the race, Gabriele Grunewald won the race, in a tight race with people bumping and jostling. Then there was a protest filed about one such bump, she was disqualified, and then a day later, reinstated as champion.
The first thing I hope comes out of this, is a transparent appeal process. In my opinion, in racing, sometimes elbows get thrown, sometimes you get pushed, and about 1/3 of the races in indoor I get spiked by a competitor's shoes.That's racing, it's a mild to moderate contact sport. If it wasn't a contact sport we would run time trials, like long track speed skating or indoor cycling.
The second thing that comes out of this for me, is the question, 'why do I want to be a member of USATF?' The answer is I want to run at a world championship some day, but 2014? It's not going to happen. If I don't stand a chance of running an international, or even a national event, why should I be a member? This question has been in my mind before this event, but this certainly makes me even more skeptical.
Besides, racing in Europe is a lot more physical than in the US. Just look at the way newbies to the Euro circuit get bumped and pushed.