Johannesburg - Natalie du Toit said she had no idea why she was disqualified for "unsporting behaviour" in the South African women's 5km open-water championship race in Durban at the weekend, according to a report in Sowetan.
The amputee star, who touched first for what would have been first place at the SA championships, appealed against the decision.
But one official said the appeal had been unanimously rejected by a
six-man committee. Du Toit effectively swam her nearest rival, Michelle
Webber, out of space in the final sprint for the touch pad.
The swimmer, 28, explained that she had intentionally swum in her
opponent's slip, and each time Webber had moved to her right, she had
followed her to stay in the slip.
"It's allowed," said Du Toit, who on Monday started competing in the pool events to seal her selection for the Paralympics.
"The men's race at the Beijing Olympics (in 2008) was won like that. I
didn't hit her, I didn't scratch her. It's been done to me all the time
in international races.
"It's about finding your line, it's finding your position. I walked
away from that race thinking I can actually swim internationally now,"
added Du Toit, who competed at the 2008 Olympics.
She will attempt to qualify for the women's 10km open-water race at the London Olympics in Portugal in June.
"I don't understand it. At the end of the day I don't know what I did."
Du Toit, who plans to retire after the Paralympics, attended her
first senior SA championships in 1997 and missed only one national gala,
after her accident in 2001.