Leon Marchand‘s disqualification in the 400 IM on Thursday at the Pro Swim Series – San Antonio meet was overturned.
USA Swimming announced the news on Twitter on Friday morning, saying that the overturn came “after further video review.” The original disqualification was also made “after review.”
A USA Swimming spokesperson says that the appeal process began overnight and a video review was conducted on Firday morning. “After reviewing the footage, the call was overturned.”
After further video review of last night's 400 I.M., Leon's disqualification has been overturned.
— USA Swimming News (@USASwimmingNews) April 1, 2022
Marchand’s 4:10.38 is the fastest time in the world so far this year, and won the race easily by 9 seconds. With this being his ‘exception’ meet for World Championship qualifying, that should also cement his spot in the race at the upcoming World Championships.
Marchand was DQ’d on the controversial “Lochte Rule”. If you need a refresher, the ‘Lochte Rule’ is an unpopular rule FINA put in place for IM races, named after Ryan Lochte. The rule states that underwater dolphin kicks performed on the back are classified as backstroke, meaning that kicking underwater on the back during the freestyle portion of an IM is illegal. Per FINA rules, exactly 1/4 of an IM race must be done in each stroke, therefore “swimming backstroke” by doing underwater kicks on the back results in disqualification.
FINA has taken steps to soften the rule after it received a largely negative response from the swimming community, however, it’s clearly still resulting in disqualifications. Specifically, swimmers are allowed to briefly be on their backs on the freestyle leg so long as they don’t kick until they are on their stomachs.
With that swim, Marchand should have priority qualifying position ahead of next week’s French National Championships. Emilien Mattenet, who swam 4:15.69 at December’s National Championship meet, would not be in danger of getting bumped if Tom Remy went under the 4:17.48 qualifying time – even if he was slower than Mattenet.
Marchand was named SwimSwam’s 2022 NCAA Men’s Swimmer of the Year as a freshman after winning the 200 IM and 200 breast, plus placing 2nd in the 400 IM at NCAAs. His 200 yard IM swim was the fastest in the history of the event.