At any athletic event, there are winners, losers and those who just plain get messed up. The most curious disqualifications in Sydney so far have had nothing to do with drugs.
British judo champ DEBBIE ALLAN thought her weight was fine when she stepped on the practice scales. But officials found tissue paper stuffed in the machinery, causing it to underreport results. Over her 115-lb. weight category by 14 oz., she cut off most of her hair and stepped on the scales naked. She was still just over the limit at the official weigh-in.
MARIA PEKLI's husband Gabor Szabo wanted to give his wife a hug after she won Australia's first Olympic judo medal in 36 years, a bronze. But Szabo is also her coach: it's forbidden for a coach to set foot on the competition mat. He got a 24-hr. suspension. It would have been a year if he'd refused to write a letter of apology.
Race walker BERNARDO SEGURA was elated after crossing the finish line in an Olympic-record-beating 20-km walk. What he didn't realize is that 400 m from victory, he committed his third "loss of continual contact with the ground"--an automatic out. Officials failed to reach him before he took a victory lap with the Mexican flag. He was halfway through an interview before getting the news.