CAS Rejects Appeal From Aurelie Muller over Rio Open Water Finish DQ

France’s Aurelie Muller appealed her disqualification at the end of the Olympic open water 10K, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rejected the appeal and upheld her DQ.

From our original reporting on the DQ:

Based on a replay, which you can see on here, France’s Aurelie Muller and Italy’s Rachele Bruni hit the finishing stretch shoulder-to-shoulder and engage in a very physical dash to the finish pad.

Commentators call it “almost a streetfight” and “gladiatorial” as the two jockey for position.

Heading into the finish, it appears Bruni gets an inside track and doesn’t budge from her line, pushing Muller to the outside and dangerously close to the outside edge of the finish platform. As the two close in, Muller pushes back to the inside, trying to find a lane between Bruni and the float holding up the finish pad.

As the two scuffle for position, Muller ends up basically going over the top of Bruni in a lunge for the pad. Bruni actually appears to get pushed entirely under water, but Muller isn’t quite able to reach the pad before she resurfaces. As Muller’s hand floats inches away from the finish pad, Bruni pops back up and reaches and the two hit at almost the exact same time.

Muller was credited with hitting the pad first, but was disqualified, apparently for holding Bruni down under the water, according to the commentators on the video.

Though the race itself was physical, NBC’s video shows Muller and Bruni embracing emotionally after the results were made official.

CAS ruled that the disqualification would stand, as it was a “field-of-play decision,” which CAS does not review unless there is proven “arbitrariness” or “bad faith” in arriving at that decision. CAS said neither was proven in the Muller case.

You can read the full CAS release on the decision here.

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Alan turner
6 years ago

This a heartbreaking decision. Guess who was 4 th Brazil 6sec behind , why not give muller bronze .

Reply to  Alan turner
6 years ago

Muller swam the wrong way, she should have known since before the race started where the finish was, and the position of the floats/lines. Rather than swim, she chose to go over another athlete. Even if it was not intentional when she started that arm pull, she should have stopped once she made contact with Bruni. She clearly knew what she was doing by pushing Bruni under. This was the definition of unsporting.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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