treatment would produce a result that relieves the medical condition. In any case, Rule 3-19 requires a â€˜certificate of fitnessâ€™ for continued participation to be prepared by the medical advisor approved by the championship committee. The medical clearance to compete is not an authorization to compete. The Referee must determine and allow further participation only if the competitor is eligible for further participation based on any other pertinent rules.
A situation that is cited frequently involves a competitor who is physically present at a running event, makes an attempt by participating in the start and then after a very few steps, withdraws from the event or fails to attempt to be competitive during the event. This is not by definition a Failure to Participate, therefore not a situation covered in Rule 4-2.2. However, it may be an Honest Effort situation. Contrary to some belief, Honest Effort does exist, and Honest Effort is not the same as Failure to Participate. Honest Effort requires a competitor to compete in an honest and sporting manner to the best of their ability within an event, Rule 4-2.1. Not doing so is a violation and treated as Misconduct or Unsporting conduct. Unsporting conduct, such as issues of behavior, intentional false starts or non-competitiveness, are all treated in the same manner.
As with Failure to Participate, there is no requirement that the Referee wait for a complaint or protest before determining the existence of a Misconduct or Unsporting conduct (Honest Effort) violation. Many Championship Committees are proactive upon witnessing a performance that appears to not be the best competitive ability, and initiate an investigation. However, it is more common for a report of this violation to come to the Referee in the form of a protest. The responsibility of the Referee is to determine if just cause exists for the apparent lack of best ability. If declared, a competitor must not only â€˜participateâ€™ but must also â€˜competeâ€™, Rule 4-2. The determination may include any evidence relevant to making a decision, such as medical information or competitor actions. With regard to Unsporting conduct, a basic question to answer is: â€˜Was there legitimate reason for the competitorâ€™s action?â€™
In cases involving Failure to Participate, the remedy available to the Referee is fully determined after a conclusion by the Referee of the existence of a violation. In Misconduct or Unsporting (Honest Effort) cases, there is greater latitude given to the Referee in the type of remedy authorized.
Remedies â€“ The following are either mandated or otherwise determined through the Referee in the first instance and through the Games Committee/ Jury as an appeal to any Referee decision.
Scratch: The ramifications of a scratch are governed by Games Committee policy. Within Championship competition, where a defined declaration process is in place, committee policy has been very consistent. A scratch before the close of declaration can occur on an event-by event basis without jeopardy. After the close of declaration, any scratch, a voluntary removal from an event for any reason, results in a mandated removal from all further competition. This includes events not yet started and subsequent rounds of events already started. A removal for a temporary medical ailment, as described above, is not a scratch.
A competitor who abandons a Combined Event at a stage, after the first stage, does not jeopardize competition in any existing or future individual event since a scratch prior to the event, or a round, has not occurred. Similarly, a scratch from an individual event occurring while the Combined Event competition is â€˜in-progressâ€™ does not mandate the removal of the competitor from the remaining stages of the Combined Event.
Failure to Participate: This rule violation requires a determination by the Referee or Games Committee that a violation has occurred. After such determination, the mandated remedy is applied as stated in the rule.
Did Not Start: For this condition, the Referee must determine the cause. Such determination will have the result of imposing a mandated remedy or allowing solutions to be created and imposed as authorized by rule by the Referee.
Honest Effort: This is a rule violation that must be validated by the Referee or Jury of Appeal, who is then solely authorized to create and impose a remedy that best fits the situation.