DQ Drama: Ditlev Reinstated as Challenge Champion

Magnus Ditlev crossed the finish line first at Challenge Montenegro, and for approximately 45 minutes, was considered the victor. However, it was later discovered that he had cut the first loop of the run short, and was first handed a five minute time penalty and later disqualified, giving the victory to Patrick Lange.

Challenge further investigated the issue, and discovered that Ditlev had been led to cut approximately 400 meters by the lead cyclist. Fellow professional athletes had, per a thread in our Reader Forum, split their winnings with Ditlev in order to make him whole for an error that, at least in part, was attributable to race organizers.

Today, Challenge reinstated Ditlev as the race winner.

"The decision to disqualify Ditlev was based on information available at the time as per the World Triathlon rules where course-cutting results in disqualification," Challenge posted in a statement.

"However, based on subsequent investigation, his disqualification has been returned to a five-minute time penalty as provided initially. The action was reduced in acknowledgement of the part the race organisation played in misdirecting Ditlev, for which Challenge Family and Challenge Budva-Montenegro has apologised, with a commitment to put more robust procedures in place to ensure this is not repeated."

This is not the first nor the last time lead cyclists, race officials, or other persons acting in an official capacity have interfered in results. Examples include Andy Potts ignoring a boat to swim to victory at CapTex, and the missing run turnaround cone at Wildflower many years ago.