Doubly so for UASTF's handling of it all. Fairest thing to do for the athletes is to resolve the matter as soon as possible to avoid the week of mindfucking both athletes had to face. USA Swimming, which has a fair number of ties for selection or advancement because they only time to hundredths, says swim-offs to resolve a tie should be conducted no later than 30 minutes after the last scheduled event of the session. For track and field, I could saying ties would be resolved the day after the tie for distances 800M or shorter. And given how complex and commonly used the rules can get for resolving ties in the field events, I really am surprised that USATF had no procedure in place for resolving ties in running events.
As for Phelps, he dropped an individual event, which just happened to result in another swimmer (7th place guy in the 200M) getting called up because of how the relay pool for the 4x200 FR is chosen. Since Davis Tarwater hadn't qualified in another event, and they had room on the roster for another swimmer, he got called at the airport that he was getting put onto the team. If the guy who finished 7th had been a swimmer already on the team like Peter Vanderkaay, then PVK would be assigned the spot on the 4x200 FR in addition to his spot in the 400 free, and no additional athletes would have been added because of Phelps' scratch.
Same thing happened in 2008 when Dara Torres withdrew early from the 100 free as an individual event to focus on the 50 free- it triggered the 7th place swimmer in the event, Kara Lynn Joyce, being added to the team as part of the 4x100 relay pool, and the 3rd place swimmer in the 100 free got the individual 100 free swim in Beijing.
Edited by selkie, Jul 3, 2012 @ 8:26 PM.