USA Swimming Disputes Pan Ams Medley Relay DQ to No Avail


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A spokesperson for USA Swimming disputed whether or not Cody Miller did 2 dolphin kicks on the American mixed medley relay on Thursday evening in Lima, Peru.

“[It was] two dolphin kicks off the breaststroke turn,” USA Swimming press officer Kara Raney said in a USOPC press release. “Per Pan Am rules, we are not allowed to introduce video that is not from Pan Am Sports. Per the video that the team has seen, it disputes the call. But, unfortunately, per the rules, we cannot introduce our own video or a broadcast video. It has to be from Pan Am Sports.”

When asked, USA Swimming declined to provide the footage that they claim showed his innocence.

The American relay was disqualified in the swim: the first mixed medley ever held at the Pan American Games.

While video review has become the norm at big international meets only to overturn disqualifications but not to call them (it was in use heavily at the World Championships, for example), only video taken by the official review system is allowed in the process.

Miller has been disqualified for multiple dolphin kicks at big collegiate, national, and international meets in the past, including on the men’s 400 medley relay at the 2016 World Championships, at the 2016 Pro Swim Series stop in Orlando, and at the 2013 NCAA Championships in the individual 100 breaststroke.

FINA changed breaststroke rules after the 2004 Olympics to allow swimmers to take a single dolphin kick during the underwater pullout phase of each length of breaststroke. The change came after Japanese swimmer Kosuke Kitajima did a clear dolphin kick and was not disqualified en route to double breaststroke gold. The rule, since implemented, has seen small tweaks, but in essence remains: 1 dolphin kick in each underwater pullout. The rule has remain one of the most hotly-debated, and inconsistently called, in swimming:

The Americans touched first in the relay, and after their disqualification was upheld, that moved Brazil into the gold medal position in 3:48.61, Canada into silver in 3:49.97, and Argentina into bronze in 3:50.53.

This is the 2nd time in the last year that Brazil has benefited with a gold medal from an American relay DQ: at last year’s Pan Pacific Games, the American men’s 400 free relay was disqualified for swimming out of order, leaving Brazil for gold there as well.

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Bailey Ludden
3 years ago

I mean most of them do it. Cameron did it at London and multiple others- it’s just up to the refs I guess

3 years ago

I don’t think that Cody is a swimmer who would ever do such a thing as cheating while swimming even in his vlogs he says that he enjoys swimming even tho he loses sometimes.

3 years ago

Just Cody being Cody

Definitely Not Sun Yang
3 years ago

extra dolphin kicks = cheating. get it through ur thick skulls.

3 years ago

What about the coach, who must see this everyday in training? Or who sees Lilly King’s turns everyday?

3 years ago

is anyone surprised by this?

Yuri Orlov
3 years ago Cody is a kid compared to this legendary greek who used to swim all the race like that.

Reply to  Yuri Orlov
3 years ago

Lmao what!?

3 years ago

Haven’t see the video, so can’t comment on whether this DQ was correct.
However, multiple dolphin kicks is getting out of control, especially after the “arm pull must occur before downward kick” rule was removed a few years ago. More and more swimmers are coached to do a dolphin kick first, followed by the pulldown and a second dolphin kick. The second kick is disguised as part of “body undulation”. At a recent LSC championship meet, the top qualifier was DQed for this, and the coach filed a protest, arguing the second kick was part of body undulation. The DQ was eventually overturned on the ground of “the benefit of the doubt”. At the final that night, several off-duty… Read more »

Reply to  swim4fun
3 years ago

Should never have been overturned. 102.11.1 says Referee can overturn “on a point of rule interpretation, or on a judgement decision pertaining to an action which the Referee has personally observed.” This was neither.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner 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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