Lionel Sanders DSQ’d because of crossing ‘imaginary line’

Lionel Sanders days before the race (Picture: Insta Sanders / Talbot Cox)

After we published earlier today that Lionel Sanders was disqualified at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships for crossing the center line on to the left hand side of the road out on the bike course – and it became clear that Sanders is completely done with Ironman – the story only gets crazier. After all, there was no center line on the road, Sanders now explains on his socials. The Ironman Official who handed out the penalty would have admitted that and would have said it was an imaginary line.

“Hi guys, just wanted to give you a little update from here at the IM 70.3 World Championships in Finland. A real unfortunate day, I don’t have all of my thoughts totally gathered, so I don’t want to give too much emotion, I just want to tell you what happened.

“I was just making a pass on one of the back roads, maybe 70km into the bike, on a small narrow road and I made the pass at around 60km an hour speed. Just as I made the pass on the individual, a referee came up next to me and blew the whistle and showed me a card.

“I was totally taken aback as I didn’t feel like I had done anything after working really hard to make the pass to not get a drafting penalty. So I was given a card and I asked ‘what for?’ and the referee said that I crossed the centre line, but there was no centre line! It was a small European road with no centre line.” 

“I am well aware of the centre line rule, of course, because that’s a real rule. So I said to the referee, there is ‘no centre line’ and he said that ‘it’s imaginary’. I told him that this was never discussed and that weren’t told that we would have to abide by an imaginary line on the closed course on narrow roads.”