LSU track and field coach defends Fred Kerley, accuses USATF of favoritism after Noah Lyles takes 28-year-old's place in 4x400m relay in Glasgow

Dennis Shaver takes Fred Kerley
Dennis Shaver takes Fred Kerley's side over the sudden inclusion of Noah Lyles

LSU track and field coach Dennis Shaver defends American sprinter Fred Kerley's stance against the participation of Noah Lyles in the 4x400m relay at the World Athletics Indoor Championships.

Lyles clinched the silver in the 60m sprint on the first day of the championships. However, he made a surprise appearance in the 4x400m relay for the USA despite his lack of experience in the discipline. Lyles was chosen by the USATF to team alongside Jacory Patterson, Matthew Boling, and Christopher Bailey. They finished with silver in the competition just behind Belgium.

This sudden inclusion of Noah Lyles has raised the eyebrows of various fans and athletes. Fred Karley, the eighth fastest man in the world has slammed the USATF for showing preference to big names such as Lyles. Karley took to X (formerly Twitter) to write:

"“@usatf y’all play that favoritism like mf. Yall like puppets. For sure yes man”

Dennis Shaver, who is currently the field and track coach of Louisiana State University, supported Kerley as he stated that the USATF has been showing favoritism for ages in the relay events:

"Fred, USATF has ALWAYS showed favoritism when it comes to 4x1 and 4x4. Let’s all call it like it really is! Dealing with the politics for YEARS."

Noah Lyles hits back at Fred Kerley

Noah Lyles gave a thundering reply to Fred Kerley's criticism after the relay was over. Kerley had taken a dig earlier at the six-time world champion as he was included in the 4*400m relay team during the World Athletics Indoor Championships.

After the race, Lyles hit back at the criticism from the 28-year-old as he told Citius Magazine:

“I mean he could be here but he ain't so if you mad at that, come on out.”

Noah Lyles has also made his intentions clear for participating in the 4*400m relay at the 2024 Paris Olympics. In an interview with the World Athletics, Lyles said that one of his close friends has suggested the idea of winning four gold medals rather than three. Lyles stated:

“I’ve never had somebody tell me something that has thrown my out-of-the-box thinking to inside-the-box, but that was like: okay, I’m not going to say no to that. Because after what I did at Budapest and seeing what my body can handle, if I train for it, okay, let’s take a shot. It’s the last race, there’s nothing to lose. If I’m in shape for it and I’ve trained for it all year, sure let’s take a crack at it. If they allow me, if they need me and they are willing - let’s go, let’s take it.”

Noah Lyles is currently the reigning champion in the 100m, 200m, and 4*100m relay. During the 2023 World Championships, the 26-year-old became one of the few track and field athletes to inflict a clean sweep at the tournament.

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Edited by Yash Singh
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