As we reported yesterday, a Canadian age-grouper was disqualified for sabotaging another athlete’s bicycle prior to the start of the race at Sunday’s Ironman 70.3 Syracuse. Triathlon Magazine Canada was able to confirm with the Ironman that the athlete, St. Catharines, Ont.’s Kristen Johnson, who competes in the 40 to 44 age-group, was disqualified at the race. According to unconfirmed reports she was disqualified for letting the air out of a competitor’s tire before the race, and that decision was made based on video taken by a spectator.
Johnson is an accomplished age-group triathlete who placed fourth in her division at Kona last year.
We reached Johnson earlier today both by phone and email.
“I am in the middle of being admitted to a… health facility and can’t deal with this,” she wrote in an email. “I did nothing wrong.”
In our phone conversation with Johnson she reiterated that she was being admitted to hospital and would not be making any other statements at this time.
Johnson, who previously worked as a teacher at the District School Board of Niagara, appears to have been dealing with many issues over the last few years.
She was disciplined by the Ontario College of Teachers in May, 2016. She had been arrested in February, 2014 and charged with fraud. Shortly after that she was also charged with “possession of property obtained by crime,” according to the decision posted on the Ontario College of Teachers website. (In the decisions Johnson is referred to as Kristen Michelle Tamburrino.)
The Ontario College of Teachers Magazine Professionally Speaking reported in its December, 2016 issue:
“Between November 2013 and January 2014, Tamburrino took someone’s bank card without his consent and used it to withdraw a total of about $1,140 from his bank account.”
“In October 2014, she (Johnson) pleaded guilty to the “possession under” charge. She received a conditional discharge and was placed on probation for 12 months. The fraud charge was withdrawn. The Discipline Committee panel found her guilty of professional misconduct and ordered that she appear before the panel immediately after the hearing to be reprimanded.She was also directed to successfully complete, at her own expense, a course in ethics. In its decision, the panel stated, ‘The Committee finds that the Member’s dishonest and illegal conduct warrants a reprimand by her peers.’”
In reaching out to members of the St. Catharines multi-sport community, many expressed concerns about Johnson’s health.