RIO DE JANEIRO (NBC Olympics) — The U.S. men’s 4x100m relay team crossed the finish line in third place Friday night, but they will not be taking home any medals.
The team was disqualified after it was ruled that the first exchange between Mike Rodgers and Justin Gatlin illegally took place outside of the takeover zone.
The four athletes celebrated and took a victory lap after the race, only to find out that they were disqualified when they were interviewed on NBC by Lewis Johnson.
“I felt like it was a clean exchange going through the zone,” Gatlin told Johnson after watching a video replay.
It was the ninth time since 1995 that the U.S. men have been disqualified or failed to get the baton around at an Olympics or world championships, according to the Associated Press.
“It has to be the worst luck for this country ever,” Gay told reporters after the race. “It’s always something weird, stupid. Simple mistakes always cost us.”
Jamaica won the gold medal for the third consecutive year.