QINGDAO // A second protest by the Spanish 49er silver medallists Iker Martinez and Xavier Fernandez against the gold medal awarded to Denmark's Jonas Warrer and Martin Kirketerp Ibsen was rejected today. "We have upheld our original decision," the chairman of the jury David Tillett said. "We do not believe we made any errors." A protest by the race committee and Spain was rejected by an international jury yesterday, a day after Denmark took gold after an extraordinary medal race in which Warrer and Ibsen sailed in a boat borrowed from the Croatian team after their mast snapped on the way to the start of the race.
The jury said that despite infringement of technical rules, it had decided not to impose penalties as the Danes had not gained an unfair advantage by swapping boats. Spain, along with Italy, filed a second appeal today. Italian brothers Pietro and Gianfranco Sibello finished fourth overall. The Danes were presented with their gold medals on Monday. At the medal winners' news conference Martinez told reporters he was "happy" to win silver and congratulated the Danish team.
Spain have the option of filing another appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) President Alejandro Blanco hinted to Spanish newspapers, before the result of the second protest was known, that they would fight all the way to get the result overturned. "This doesn't make any sense. The rules can't be broken and things like this shouldn't happen in the Olympic Games," he was quoted as saying.
"We believe that if we make a good case our exceptional sportsmen will get the gold again." Martinez and Fernandez won gold in Athens in 2004. *Reuters