Appeal fees in Olympics stir curiosity


Forgive Leftovers for still obsessing over the protest won Monday by Japan's men's gymnastics team.

Besides, the way things are going on NBC, the event probably doesn't air until next week, so the situation still is relevant.

The image of a coach running over to the judging panel with a stack of crisp $100 bills, and then minutes later seeing an appeal go his way to move his team from fourth place to a silver medal, doesn't sit right.

Yes, we understand what happened now, mostly thanks to the excellent Yahoo! Olympic blogging of Chris Chase. (The blog is called "Fourth-place medal.")

The International Olympic Committee, in its infinite wisdom, instituted a fee for filing a protest to discourage frivolous challenges.

That doesn't mean we have to accept it. It's just not right.

Imagine a major league manager storming out of the dugout to protest a called strike three, handing the home plate umpire a wad of cash and then having the ump decide the pitch was a bit outside.

But what if American sports did adopt a system in which money had to be posted up front to pay for appeals?

Can you imagine an NFL coach needing to throw his wallet on the field with a challenge flag?

What coach would even have money on him on the sideline to make such a payment?

Well, maybe Saints coach Sean Payton. But that's just to pay off bounties.

■ MOTHER KNOWS BEST - Kayaker Mike Dawson of New Zealand barely touched gate five Sunday as he navigated the Olympic course in London, but the gate judge alertly spotted the infraction and signaled a two-second penalty.

The situation hardly would be noteworthy except for the fact the judge who issued the penalty was his mother, Kay Dawson.

Let's put aside for a moment the fact that this oddity screams of corruption.

Dawson told The Associated Press in an email that he had no issue with the penalty and had, in fact, committed the infraction.

"Fortunately, it was definitely a genuine touch, and of course she called it right, as I'd expect her to," he wrote.

Dawson, who qualified for the semifinals despite the penalty, joked that he thought of protesting the call.

"That would've had all sorts of ramifications after the Olympics, and besides, I like mum's cooking too much!" he said.

His coach probably knew better than to lodge any sort of complaint as well, as Dawson is coached by his father.

■ WAITING GAME - U.S. track star Lolo Jones has been one of the many active Twitter users in London, especially with all the time she has had on her hands waiting for her events to start.

She is fed up with her followers who complain that she is ruining the live broadcasts for them, however.

"Tired of ppl tweeting #spoiler. I want to express joy for my teammates! And I will! Everything is Live ONLINE if u don't want to wait," she posted on her account, @Lolojones.

Interesting that the self-proclaimed and outspoken virgin would have a problem with those who want to wait.

COMPILED BY ADAM HILL LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

 

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