Robles: I was DQ'd because I'm Cuban
Cuban athlete Dayron Robles said he wouldn't have been disqualified from the 110-meter hurdles at the world championships if he came from a more powerful country.
Robles was stripped of his first-place finish in the hurdles in South Korea on Monday after judges upheld an appeal claiming he held back Chinese runner Liu Xiang.
The ruling meant the gold medal was handed to American Jason Richardson, with Liu second and British athlete Andrew Turner bumped up to bronze.
"If I were from another country that had more power, that wouldn't have happened," Robles told The Associated Press in an email received Tuesday.
The championships in Daegu have been marked by several high-profile disqualifications. Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt was shown the red card for false-starting in the 100, and Olympic 400 champion Christine Ohuruogu of Britain also was booted for a false start in her heat.
"It's very controversial that these things happen in an athletics world championships, lamentably it was my turn to lose out," Robles said.
The Cuban, gold medalist in the 110 hurdles in the 2008 Olympics, said jostling was common in his event.
"You can always get hit, you open your arms and there's always contact," he said. "I've had races where I've collided with (American hurdler David) Oliver, with the same Chinese (Liu), that's normal and all the athletes know it."
A gold in the outdoor world championships is the major medal missing from Robles' collection, but he said the latest setback would make him mentally stronger.
"I believe myself to be the champion … now with this experience, what I've got to try to do is always be in front," he said. "They are things that happen in life and you have to get on with it, the most important thing now is to finish without any injuries, without any health problems, looking toward the Olympic Games that are so close."