British triathlete banned for six months for unsportsmanlike behaviour
Monday, 25 July 2011
July 25 - Britain's Harry Wiltshire has been suspended for six months by the International Triathlon Union (ITU) for unsportsmanlike conduct, it was announced today.
Wiltshire was disqualified from the European Championships in Pontevedre last month for impeding world champion Javier Gomez during the race, which was won by Alistair Brownlee, who beat his brother Jonathan
Gomez tweeted after the race: "Disappointed with what Harry Wiltshire did in the swim, hope ITU penalises him hard. Everyone saw it, it's pretty sad, poor boy."
The suspension has been backdated to June 26 and prohibits Wiltshire, a 28-year-old from Dorset, from taking part in ITU competitions or competitions sanctioned by national federations affiliated to the ITU.
"Following the elite men's race at the European Championships, Wiltshire's alleged unsafe and unsportsmanlike conduct during the race was investigated," the ITU said in a statement.
"The ITU Executive Board voted to impose a six-month suspension against Wiltshire based on the evidence from the race and testimonies from the on-course technical officials.
"Wiltshire had already been disqualified by the Chief Swim Official based on violations to the ITU Competition Rules (2.1 a.) (i), 3.3 a.) (i), Appendix L 6, and Appendix L 7).
"This decision was upheld by the Referee and there was no appeal by the athlete's federation upon notification.
"The ITU is strongly committed to maintaining the integrity of the sport by ensuring athletes are competing within the competition rules and with a high degree of sportsmanship."
Wiltshire won the gold medal in the 2006 World Student Games but is not considered a contender for a place in Britain's team for London 2012.
His best result this year was finishing sixth at the Vina del Mar ITU Triathlon Pan American Cup in Chile in January.
Willtshire and British Triathlon were unavailable for comment.