USA 800 Free Relay DQ Overturned on Protest

The United States’ disqualification in the 800 meter free relay from Wednesday evening’s session at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada has been overturned.

USA Swimming did not immediately respond for an explanation on what ground the appeal was made, but the result is a restored silver medal for the Americans – saving them from a first-ever no-podium in the event in Pan Ams history.

The team was originally disqualified from the event because swimmer Michael Weiss taped the left middle and ring fingers together, which is a violation of FINA rule 10.8 if not approved by the FINA Medical Committee.

The appeal will bump the Canadians down to a bronze medal and takes Venezuela off of the podium after what appeared to be a second-straight bronze medal in the event on Wednesday evening.

The American splits:

  • Michael Weiss – 1:48.39
  • Michael Klueh – 1:48.26
  • Gunnar Bentz – 1:47.90
  • Darian Townsend – 1:47.55

The Americans wound up placing 2nd behind Brazil, who broke the Pan American Games Record with a 7:11.15.

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Hulk Swim

“Any kind of tape on the body is not permitted unless approved by FINA Sport Medicine Committee”

I’m guessing there’s a procedure for that and if they got approval the officials would have been notified.

Very interested to hear what they come up with. Shady.


What was the criteria for getting into this meet? Even with the top swimmers going to Worlds, it appears the USA could have still fielded a much stronger men’s team.

Hulk Swim

Last year’s Nationals…

To be fair there may have been some folks who turned down the chance… we have some folks here who finished in the high teens at Nats.

I just don’t like the idea of selecting the team a year out. We have some folks who are clear top 3 types looking ahead to OT16 at this meet (Schmitt, Worrell) instead of getting some reps at Worlds.

bobo gigi

If US nationals from last summer was the selection meet, then can someone explain to me how Meghan Small, who finished 3rd of the 200 breast C-Final there, has swum that event yesterday at Pan Ams. 8 swimmers per final. If I count well, she finished 19th at nationals. And she’s selected to swim that race with her best event, the 200 IM.
If you think that 2 girls are sent to worlds, 2 others were sent to WUGs, it means that 14 girls who finished ahead of her have refused the selection?


I am pretty sure Meghan Small was selected based on her 200 IM finish at nationals (4th) place. Her second event was added because of selection rule 1.3.6 which is explained on the USA Swimming website.

bobo gigi

I know she is selected in the 200 IM. I asked how she could swim the 200 breast.
I looked at the rules you mention and I’ve understood now but it’s complicated.


Meghan Small finished 19th in finals but that’s even a bit misleading because the C final was limited to 18&Under swimmers. She was only 38th after prelims but got bumped into the C final due to her 18&Under status. No idea why Annie Zhu, Andrea Kropp, Haley Spencer, etc. weren’t put on the roster as a second 200 breaststroker. Maybe roster size limit?

bobo gigi

You’re right. 38th after prelims. I had forgotten the C-Finals were limited to 18 and under swimmers.


Through the years USA Swimming has ‘played around’ with the selection process and timing of selection. Even with the Olympic Trials. I’m guessing they are looking for the best practice model. But they always seem to get it right when it comes to the Olympics and usually the World Championships. I also know that this kind of international exposure is invaluable for young swimmers and this is a way to expand that given they also had the University games.

CT Swim Fan

Will be very interested to hear the explanation for over turning the DQ. Hopefully the commentators this morning will address it.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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