Devon Allen comments on controversial DQ at track world championships
Over the weekend, former Oregon standout and future Philadelphia Eagles wideout Devon Allen was disqualified from the track world championships in Eugene, Oregon, for being too fast.
Allen, a sprinter in the 110m hurdles, was disqualified in the final for a false start that was imperceptible to the naked eye.
Runners aren’t permitted to start within 0.1 seconds of the starting gun sounding. Allen was detected by a digital starting block, not a human judge, as reacting at 0.099, meaning he was disqualified by .001 second. Boos rained down at Hayward Field. Allen pleaded his case with multiple race officials to no avail. His last track competition of the season ended in a fit of bewilderment and frustration.
Devon Allen is disqualified from the men's 110m hurdles.
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) July 18, 2022
“The rule in track and field is the threshold for reacting after the gun is one-tenth of a second, so 0.1 seconds. So, my reaction time at 0.099, which is one-thousandths too fast, which is why I got DQ’d,” he explained during an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show Tuesday. “The crazy thing is in the semifinals I reacted at 0.101 seconds, so one one-thousandth (of a second) slow, which is a ‘fair’ start.
“When they recalled the start, Grant Holloway, the world champion next to me kind of goes into his set a little bit later than everyone else so I thought they were going to bring us all back and tell him, ‘Hey, go into set when we call set.’ Because it was a quick gun. But then when I got the red card in my lane I was pretty confused. Obviously, that’s why I walked over to the official, I wanted to see the reaction, I wanted to see the video they had of me starting.”
In essence, Allen was disqualified for a reaction time that was too good. A human eye doesn’t watch his start and consider it a competitive advantage.
“I would say that’s fair,” he said. “Overall, if you look at all my reaction times, I’m probably in the top 1-5% of all sprinters at every competition I’m at. Usually I’m just a quick reactor to the gun. This weekend, obviously, it’s a huge competition for me—World Championships in Eugene, Oregon—I’m probably going to react a little bit more quickly than normal. It’s really unfortunate that’s the rule. I understand that’s the rule and it’s in place so there’s no false starts, but, you know, to (not) have a little bit of leeway for margin of error or anything that goes on for a thousandth of a second is a little bit frustrating.”
Others shared in his frustration.
Devon Allen SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN DISQUALIFIED.
He didn’t jump the gun.
He didn’t flinch.
He got punished for being TOO FAST.
Watch for yourself.
— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) July 18, 2022
Devon Allen getting DQ in these conditions and this setting is a disgrace
— just ice (@dj_jayslay) July 18, 2022
DEVON ALLEN HAD A CLEAN AND GREAT START. that’s it. That’s the tweet.
— Manteo Mitchell, OLY (@ManteoMitchell) July 18, 2022
If I weren’t a track and field enthusiast, and I just happened to tune into the world championships, I would have just changed the channel after watching what just happened to Devon Allen. What an embarrassment to the sport.
— Gray Horn (@HornAthletics) July 18, 2022
Devon Allen was robbed of a once in lifetime opportunity. Disgraceful ruling by IAAF. .001 reaction?!?
— trevor dunbar (@DunbarTrevor) July 18, 2022
Really need to bite my tongue about some the people that craft the rules and policies for track and field. What happened to Devon Allen tonight skewers the growth of the sport and not a single right minded person agrees this should be a rule. Just terrible.
— Jordan Kent (@jordanrkent) July 18, 2022
You can't give Allen a FS for a .099 reaction time.
0.10 is an arbitrary standard.
There's no science behind 0.10 being fine and 0.099 being impossible.
It's BS. He should be allowed to run.
— Steve Magness (@stevemagness) July 18, 2022
GET RID OF THE BLOCK SENSORS!
If you start after the gun, you should be able to go. Period.
Now Devon Allen is gonna be DQ’d because of a 0.99 reaction time??
The sensors are ruining some possibly great races since they’ve been in the sport.
— Anson Henry (@ansonhenry) July 18, 2022
It's a brutal rule.
Devon Allen did not move before the gun, but because his reaction time was 1,000th of a second faster than allowed he's out of the final.
He and Holloway moved together to the naked eye, but Allen is DQ'd and Holloway wins gold.
Heartbreaking turn of events
— Reuben Frank (@RoobNBCS) July 18, 2022
Allen will shift his focus now to Eagles training camp where he’ll look to make the roster. He told Patrick he feels good about his chances considering he hasn’t spent the last six years getting beat up by NFL defenders.
“I’m much faster than I was in college,” he said.
Maybe just a smidge too fast.