LEEDS, England -- Alistair Brownlee conceded Sunday that his hopes of becoming a three-time Olympic champion are over after he was disqualified from the World Triathlon Series event in Leeds for unsportsmanlike conduct during the swim leg.
The 33-year-old Brownlee, who won Olympic gold medals in 2012 and '16, now appears certain to miss the Tokyo Games after being penalized for "ducking" rival Chase McQueen as they swam. The triathlon involves swimming, cycling and running.
"I only knew I was disqualified on the last lap so it was a bitter end to it," Brownlee told BBC Sport. "In the middle of the swim, anything can happen. I'm in the middle of a stroke and I can guarantee that as bad was done to me 10 seconds before and 10 seconds after. It is a subjective field of play decision, but it is what it is."
Brownlee later tweeted to say he was "very embarrassed about being Dq'd. The swim action was completely unintentional."
He said he will now have ankle surgery before focusing on long-distance triathlons in the future.
"That's not how I wanted my last World Triathlon series race to pan out," he tweeted. "I've struggled with an ankle injury for three months and have done everything possible to get it better and stay fit for racing.
"I knew I needed a lot of luck today and it wasn't to be."
Alex Yee showed that he has a chance of challenging for Olympic medals by winning his first title.
Maya Kingma won the women's event, securing her first World Series title.
The Dutchwoman finished 11 seconds ahead of Britain's Jess Learmonth.