American Noah Lyles was denied a new 200 metres world record in the Inspiration Games after it was revealed he ran only 185m.
The 22 year-old's time of 18.90 seconds would have usurped the 19.19-second mark set by Jamaican great Usain Bolt in 2009.
Lyles, running in Florida, set the time racing alone against competitors simultaneously sprinting on tracks in Europe. Given his personal best is 19.50, the time was immediately challenged.
After initial confusion, his official result eventually read "shorter distance" with the American starting from the wrong lane. Swiss television said he had only run 185m.
World champion Lyles later tweeted: "You can't be playing with my emotions like this... Got me in the wrong lane smh."
The race was won by Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre, running in Zurich, in 19.80 seconds, one hundredth of a second ahead of Dutchman Churandy Martina, who was running in the Netherlands.
The farcical ending to one of the event's headline races is a major embarrassment to Inspiration Games organisers.
The meeting was the Zurich Weltklasse's answer to the coronavirus which has prevented conventional events from taking place.