Monday, October 04, 2010

Cheating in Trap at the last Olympics

A change for the better....

Changes to guard against home-town bias stemmed from a complaint by Russell Mark

Australian shooter Russell Mark's complaint at the Beijing Olympics helped change the sport for the better.

Mark complained that home-town referees were cheating in the trap shooting and it brought about a change of rules that will ensure there is no repeat in Delhi.

Mark almost caused an international incident in Beijing when he complained that Chinese referees were ignoring blatant misses by Chinese shooters and, while he himself was not directly affected, he insists the medals were wrongly awarded as a result.

"I finished fifth so I was out of the medals, but a good friend of mine from the United States really won the bronze medal but it wasn't scored that way," Mark said yesterday.

"My complaint there was that the referees were cheating. There's no nice way of saying it. Let's not beat around the bush. It was disgraceful. The home country cannot have the majority of referees on the field."

As a direct result of Mark's courageous outburst, the rules were amended so that host nations in future could provide only one of the three required referees. "Hopefully the situation will never happen again," Mark said.

"It was really the only time I have seen it in our sport. It was a tragic day. It got to the stage where it (the cheating by officials) was so blatant that everyone stopped shooting and just looked at the referees and said 'What are you doing'?"

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