Sean McColl lost points for touching a sponsorship logo on the lead qualifications wall at the Innsbruck World Championships this week.
McColl went into the event on Instagram in great detail. This is what he said:
I want to start by saying that I am in no way criticizing any athletes. As IFSC Athlete Representative, I fight for athletes’ rights and their right to be judged and scored unbiased and equivalently across the board.
In the Lead qualifications here at the 2018 World Championships, I climbed one route almost to the top and upon review was scored much lower on the route because of “touching” a sponsorship logo on the wall. The same review and score was given to FRA Romain Desgranges (who also almost topped the route) for the same reason. The issue at hand is that we were not judged the same as all the other athletes. In my example here, CZE athlete Adam Ondra touched the signage in the EXACT same manner (debatable as always) and was not given the same treatment, process, or score as myself or Romain. [my video is second, swipe left]
We can all agree that the sign was placed in a poor position; the matter at hand is the difference and error in judging (even after appeal) in this round.
I am not calling out Mr. Ondra whatsoever, he did nothing wrong and I admire, respect, and idolize him. What is strange is that even if the officials had scored him down to where he touched the logo, he did so well on the other qualification route that he would still have advanced. This adds to the puzzle in my mind of why they didn’t treat all athletes equally.
I speak out now because I don’t want ANY athlete EVER in our sport to be treated differently for ANY reason. There are still many days at this World Championships, I myself have two more disciplines to compete in, and I don’t want any more mistakes.
What I want, and what I’m appealing (as well as my NF) to the IFSC (@ifsclimbing) is for them to admit the signage was placed poorly and remove the down-score from any affected athlete. This would qualify both Romain and myself for semis. I would not call for a re-calculation, which would put two climbers out of semis, rather +2 extra in the round tomorrow.
Watch the clips below, we’ll update as soon as there’s any news.