Cuban world champion Dayron Robles was disqualified Monday after making contact with China’s Liu Xiang on his way to winning the 110-meter hurdles final at the World Championships.
Robles won a thrilling race in 13.14 seconds, seeing off a strong challenge from America’s Jason Richardson (13.16).
But the Cuban’s trailing right leg seemed to make contact with the left arm of Liu coming off the final hurdle and he was retrospectively stripped of the title, pending a potential appeal.
"Robles has been disqualified by the track referee under rule 163.2 for obstruction on the track," an IAAF official said. "We are waiting to see if there will be a counterprotest from the Cuban team, in which case it goes to the jury of appeal."
The intervention promoted Richardson to the gold medal, with Liu — the 2004 Olympic champion and former world record holder — gaining silver. Great Britain’s Andy Turner moved into the bronze spot.
The race was billed as a showdown between the three fastest sprint hurdlers of all time — Robles, Liu and David Oliver. But Oliver was never in contention, finishing fifth in 13.44 seconds.