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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Rule Re-examined After Russian Vaulter's 'Foul'

OSAKA, Japan -- Track and field's ruling body was considering a rule change after a Russian pole vaulter was adjudged to have fouled even though the bar did not fall at the world championships.

Tatyana Polnova was reduced to floods of tears after being eliminated at 4.65 meters, protesting furiously to judges after she was failed for knocking the bar even though it had stayed up.

"You have to ask if we should think about changing the rules," said Elio Locatelli, director of member services for the International Athletic Federation.

"Sometimes clever athletes deliberately push the bar back with their hands, but she did not do this. This must be something like human error.

"Maybe we have to use a different bar, like in the high jump -- but then it would be a problem with the wind. ... It is a very difficult question, and until we find a perfect solution, athletes will have to accept the rules as they are."

The IAAF said the judges for the women's pole vault competition Tuesday had followed the rules to the letter of the law and that Polnova had not lodged a formal protest.

The Russian had brushed the bar on her way down. As it wobbled, it became dislodged from one of the pegs at either end of the uprights, but stayed on the horizontal clip.

"If you follow the absolute strictest interpretation of the rules, the bar was not resting on both pegs," IAAF spokesman Nick Davies said.

"The bar had come off one of the pegs and Polnova and her coach had to accept that when they saw the videotape. There was no protest."