Great Britain were disqualified from the 4x400 metres relay at the European Athletics Championships after ‘a technical error’ led to a reserve shot putter being named in the team by mistake.
Youcef Zatat, who is currently ranked 182 in the world for shot put, hadn’t even travelled to Poland to take part in the Championships, but was named in the relay team instead of sprinter Rabah Yousif.
The team manager for Great Britain filled out an online submission hours before the race was due to start, but ticked Zatat’s name rather than Yousif and the error was not picked up before the race submission deadline had passed.
Once the deadline has passed no changes can be made to the submitted team unless as a result of an injury.
The British team were then prevented from taking their place in the final due to the error.
On the incident, UK Athletics performance director Neil Black praised the way the athletes responded to the mistake.
Black explained: "It is gutting for the athletes involved.
"There was an error with the declaration process and we are exploring exactly what happened. We'll be reviewing with those involved in detail over the next day or so. The athletes were amazing. They were informed and took it on the chin.
"It is the worst way to finish the event and we apologise to those who were looking forward to seeing the GB men's 4x400m team doing battle as we know they would have competed with excellence."
Italy were the winners of the race, with France taking the silver medal, and Poland taking the bronze.
Britain finished the Championships fifth overall with 302.5 points, but even if they had been allowed to compete and had won the 4x400m with Italy finishing second, their overall place would not have changed.
Italy finished ahead of Great Britain with 316 points.
In 2018, Britain’s 4x400m relay team won the silver medal at the European Athletics Championships.
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