NEW YORK – Shawn Crawford confirmed that he gave his Olympic silver medal to Churandy Martina, the sprinter who finished second in the 200 meters but was later disqualified for running out of his lane.
“I’m like, if a guy is 10 meters in front of me, I don’t care if he stayed in the middle of his lane,” Crawford told the Associated Press on Friday after finishing third in the 60 at the Millrose Games. “He was going to beat me anyway. He didn’t impede in anybody’s race.”
Crawford, the 2004 Olympic gold medalist, originally came in fourth in Beijing. Teammate Wallace Spearmon was third but was disqualified for running out of his lane.
American officials studied video of the race and then filed a protest against Martina for the same error. Martina and his Netherland Antilles team have appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, arguing that the protest was filed too late under rules set by the International Association of Athletics Federations.
Martina finished in 19.82 seconds behind world record-setter Usain Bolt. Crawford’s time was 19.96.
“It wasn’t about doing the right thing. It’s just me as an athlete – I feel like we all compete and train for four years to get to the Olympic Games,” Crawford said. “We got there, he was told he finished second after all that, he took a victory lap. I can understand his humiliation and embarrassment and all that.
“Me being an athlete, I know how he feels, so I feel like it was up to me to give it to him.”
Crawford left the medal for Martina at a hotel during a meet.
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