John Davenport of Silver Spring, an official with The Athletics Congress, filed a complaint yesterday with TAC, the governing body of amateur running, after a 10-kilometer road race last Saturday was cancelled.
The complaint arose after the NTF 10K Money Run, sponsored by the National Transplant Foundation, was cancelled when 30 of the 40 entrants refused to run because race directors changed the rules minutes after the scheduled 9 a.m. starting time. The race was to begin at the Washington Convention Center.
Before the race, entry forms and newspaper advertisements had stated that the winners of six divisions each would receive $1,000. But at approximately 9:10, the race directors required all participants to sign a new "official rules and regulations" form.
That form stated that "first place cash prizes for each category shall be limited to $1,000 or 50 percent of the total participating registration fees for that category, whichever amount is less."
With 40 entrants at $15 per person, the winning purses would have been considerably less than the advertised $1,000.
Damian Taylor, 35, race director and president of NTF, said, "The rules were determined prior to the event. We didn't have room to put the rules and regulations on the entry form."
According to Davenport's complaint, the incident was "a flagrant violation of ethics involving a foot race."
"I have to (file a complaint)," said Davenport, 63, long distance running chairman of the Potomac Valley Athletics Council, TAC's regional organization. "These guys reneged. I feel that it was a gross violation of trust."
Said Marvin Cherry, 39, vice president of NTF: "We were thinking we could attract more than 1,000 people to pay for our programs."
"We were stuck," said Taylor. "We were do or die."
The NTF describes itself as a "nonprofit organization dedicated to providing organ donor and transplantation assistance."