the student athlete raised his hand and gestured forward at the conclusion of the 4×100-meter relay. The meet official approached the student-athlete in an effort to warn him of a possible disqualification should that behavior continue. In the opinion of the official, the student reacted disrespectfully. Based on his reaction, the student-athlete was subsequently disqualified. Any decision to disqualify a student-athlete at any track meet must be upheld by the head meet referee. The meet official and the meet referee conferred, and the disqualification was upheld on-site. [the boy said] "my actions upon winning the 4×100 relay were strictly the thrill of victory."
Notice there is zero discussion of the boy's gesture, nor what his 'disrespect' was. Both are at the heart of the matter. If the gesture was (as described), the index finger raised to the side of the head, that is not EXCESSIVE. Notice that the boy was NOT DQed for the gesture. The official could have left it as that. Instead the official felt the need to reprimand the boy anyway. It was then that "in the opinion of the official" that the boy was disrespectful. In the heat of the moment, no telling what the boy said, but without more info, there is no basis for disqualification there. As a state official, I know it is our job to recede into the background and let the athletes sort out the places. It sure sounds to me that one of my brother officials decided that he was more important than the outcome of the competition. I very much doubt that I, as Meet Referee, would have upheld the official's call. Very sad.