WPO Quick update

Quick update from the meet weekend #1:

Edit: Jeff, the side judge, reached out and explained his side. I didn’t expect to hear that he panicked with adrenaline and over-reacted as he didn’t want my lift to not-count as they had issues earlier with spotters/ coaches on the platform and didn’t want me to get a red due to interference. I also talked to Wayne, and we have an understanding and have figured it out. It means a lot that they would apologize, and this was all I was looking for; to address it – because I felt it needed this because at the end of the day, Keith is an excellent friend of mine and I know how hard it was for Keith not to retaliate, out of adrenaline himself. I’m glad we can put this behind us and move forward. It was a bizarre situation that I couldn’t figure out but now have some clarity on. My only wish is that I would have had been provided a more clear understanding earlier this week, but I guess this is why I made the post that I did and addressed the issue. I have no issue with Jeff or Wayne, and as I said, I consider both friends and this is why it was so difficult to understand until now. I understand the sheer amount of pressure that Wayne has been under and I understand why it may have not been a priority to address, though I thought I had given it adequate time. It is now behind us. I appreciate everyone’s understanding and side of the story. I am human and far from perfect and do react to things just as all of us do from time to time. 

I know Wayne put a lot of effort into this meet, and some things didn’t quite go the way he wanted them too, I’m pretty sure as I saw how behind he was the night/ morning the WPO as the WPC week was wrapping up. Regardless, I want to thank him for his efforts, and I appreciate what he’s doing for equipped powerlifting.

Edit: Jeff, the side judge, reached out and explained his side. I didn’t expect to hear that he panicked with adrenaline and over-reacted as he didn’t want my lift to not-count as they had issues earlier with spotters/ coaches on the platform and didn’t want me to get a red due to interference. I also talked to Wayne, and we have an understanding and have figured it out. It means a lot that they would apologize, and this was all I was looking for; to address it – because I felt it needed this because at the end of the day, Keith is an excellent friend of mine and I know how hard it was for Keith not to retaliate, out of adrenaline himself. I’m glad we can put this behind us and move forward. It was a bizarre situation that I couldn’t figure out but now have some clarity on. My only wish is that I would have had been provided a more clear understanding earlier this week, but I guess this is why I made the post that I did and addressed the issue. I have no issue with Jeff or Wayne, and as I said, I consider both friends and this is why it was so difficult to understand until now. I understand the sheer amount of pressure that Wayne has been under and I understand why it may have not been a priority to address, though I thought I had given it adequate time. It is now behind us. I appreciate everyone’s understanding and side of the story. I am human and far from perfect and do react to things just as all of us do from time to time. 

However, there was an issue that is inexcusable and was mishandled, and I’ve yet to hear from Wayne. There is a massive lack of basic professionalism in this situation.

With that said, I had one of the most confusing and unprofessional moments of the last 20 years of my lifting time happen, and it wasn’t a call, it was a side judge using a closed fist to push my coach down and “out of the way.”

BACKGROUND:

On the squat, I missed 1102 after a pretty good 1025 and 1074 second.

I will do my best to let the video do the talking. The video above is of the retake of my opener of 750.

On my opener, I messed it up and had to retake it. I flat out screwed it up and came in way high, and it didn’t feel right. My fault.

Maybe my second bench was bad; The head judge called it a good, but I had a hard time controlling the very top as my shoulder caught and popped a few times as I touched and the bar drifted way far back over my face at lockout and touched the rack. DAMN.

Edit: Jeff, the side judge, reached out and explained his side. I didn’t expect to hear that he panicked with adrenaline and over-reacted as he didn’t want my lift to not-count as they had issues earlier with spotters/ coaches on the platform and didn’t want me to get a red due to interference. I also talked to Wayne, and we have an understanding and have figured it out. It means a lot that they would apologize, and this was all I was looking for; to address it – because I felt it needed this because at the end of the day, Keith is an excellent friend of mine and I know how hard it was for Keith not to retaliate, out of adrenaline himself. I’m glad we can put this behind us and move forward. It was a bizarre situation that I couldn’t figure out but now have some clarity on. My only wish is that I would have had been provided a more clear understanding earlier this week, but I guess this is why I made the post that I did and addressed the issue. I have no issue with Jeff or Wayne, and as I said, I consider both friends and this is why it was so difficult to understand until now. I understand the sheer amount of pressure that Wayne has been under and I understand why it may have not been a priority to address, though I thought I had given it adequate time. It is now behind us. I appreciate everyone’s understanding and side of the story. I am human and far from perfect and do react to things just as all of us do from time to time. 

When I hopped up from the bench, there was a bunch of yelling; I was dizzy, so I walked off the platform and got out of the way. As I was walking off, I got informed my bench was no good due to “spotter interference.” I knew I had touched the rack, so I wasn’t super surprised I guess, though I thought it was an incidental contact which is allowed in the APF, you can’t use it to help your lift.

After I got my head cleared, I sent one of my handlers, Mike to talk to the judges to see what the official call was for sure. I still was confused about the yelling, and there was some controversy. The official calls: white head judge, sides spotter interference AND touching the rack. I was a little disappointed because I grooved that one pretty well and have been worried about my shoulder.  But the call is the call. I didn’t say anything or argue it.

I didn’t think of taking another bench would be wise with the way my shoulder felt, so I talked it over with the team, and we decided that after we watched Minuth hit his monster second on a retake after missing his opener, there was no reason to blow my shoulder apart possibly and risk it. If Matt missed his opener bench again, then well, maybe I play the game a little bit. Matt was having a perfect day, so I was going to cut my losses and pass my third though it was disappointing.

I watched my bench video again before making a final decision; I figured out why Keith; my coach was so pissed off and fired up at Wayne and the side Judge Jeff over the lift.  He handled this better than probably most people would have.

On my opener, Keith could not see my groove on the bench on the backside around the head judge and call me down the way he wanted, so for the second attempt shown; he went around the head judge and into a better position. That’s when it got weird. The video can tell the story better than I can.

There is absolutely no reason, no matter who you are – APF/ WPO/ WPC Judge, or not, a friend of mine or not (Jeff, the side judge, is a friend of mine, and I have no idea why he did this – maybe he can explain), to EVER put your hands on someone like this and expect it to be ok. Fine, DQ the lift, as he did, but this could have ended up in a brawl if Keith wasn’t the better man.

Fine, call the lift no good (as he did for this). But to reach over and push someone over with a closed fist to the kidney when he wasn’t even in the way; followed by screaming, instead of a gentle tap as judges do all the time during the squat and bench is mindlessly unprofessional, especially when you aren’t even in the way.

Keith was near the FRONT of the platform as the SIDE judge had to LEAVE HIS SEAT TO PUSH KEITH “out of the way.” Keith could have very easily fallen into my legs during the press.

This craziness made my decision to pass my third a little less hard to swallow. Still sucked and still hurt. But it’s something that makes you shake your head and wonder how it could happen.

There were enough people who asked me about what happened (as they witnessed this) so I figured I’d make a post, and maybe the APF /WPO could explain it a little better.

But, I can tell you this is not the direction I saw powerlifting and a meet of this magnitude going, and I am pretty disappointed in it and how it all went down and the fact the judge remained in the chair and was not made to even apologize to Keith.

Edit: Jeff, the side judge, reached out and explained his side. I didn’t expect to hear that he panicked with adrenaline and over-reacted as he didn’t want my lift to not-count as they had issues earlier with spotters/ coaches on the platform and didn’t want me to get a red due to interference. I also talked to Wayne, and we have an understanding and have figured it out. It means a lot that they would apologize, and this was all I was looking for; to address it – because I felt it needed this because at the end of the day, Keith is an excellent friend of mine and I know how hard it was for Keith not to retaliate, out of adrenaline himself. I’m glad we can put this behind us and move forward. It was a bizarre situation that I couldn’t figure out but now have some clarity on. My only wish is that I would have had been provided a more clear understanding earlier this week, but I guess this is why I made the post that I did and addressed the issue. I have no issue with Jeff or Wayne, and as I said, I consider both friends and this is why it was so difficult to understand until now. I understand the sheer amount of pressure that Wayne has been under and I understand why it may have not been a priority to address, though I thought I had given it adequate time. It is now behind us. I appreciate everyone’s understanding and side of the story. I am human and far from perfect and do react to things just as all of us do from time to time. 

More to come….

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Brian Carroll

Brian is a world-class powerlifter with over two decades of elite and pro-level powerlifting under his belt. Coming back from a devastating back injury in 2012 that broke multiple bones and that most experts said he would never recover from, he has returned to the pinnacle of world-class lifting (while 100% pain and symptom-free) and is now dedicated to helping others avoid the same mistakes that he made in the past through private and group coaching in Jacksonville, FL. Brian’s impressive recovery has given him the opportunity to teach and deliver talks to physical therapists, chiropractors, medical doctors, professional strength & conditioning coaches and experts from all facets of sport, on how to avoid injury, while building anti-fragile strength and resilience in athletes.
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