10:37 AM PDT, September 3, 2021
A shot putter was disqualified from receiving the gold medal in the Paralympics Games due to being three minutes late.
Malaysian athlete Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli participated in the F20 class of the Tokyo Paralympics Games — a class for athletes with disabilities — and was thought to have won gold.
Afterwards, he was disqualified due to being tardy for the competition.
International Paralympic Committee spokesman Craig Spence said to CBS News that because the reason behind the tardiness was initially unknown, Zolkefli and two others were allowed to compete.
“They were late, they may have had a logical reason for being late, and therefore we allowed them to compete and look at the facts of the matter afterward,” Spence said to the outlet.
Spence said the excuse given was that the three athletes who were late “…didn’t hear the announcement or it was in a language they did not understand,” according to the outlet.
World Para Athletics issued a statement saying no justifiable cause for the tardiness was found, and that an appeal against the decision had been denied.
Because of the disqualification, Ukrainian teammates Maksym Koval and Oleksandr Yarovyi received the gold and silver, respectively. Spence said that this elicited a social media storm, according to CBS.
“We are now seeing comments on all our social media posts that have nothing to do with the men’s shot put F20 event,” Spence said to the outlet.
The Associated Press reached out to the Malaysian delegation via email, and have not received a response as of Wednesday, according to CBS.