Two-time Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee was disqualified on Sunday from the Grand Trio of the World Triathlon Series when Mario Mola claimed the title for the third consecutive year.
Brownlee was out of the race to retake the crown he won in 2009 and 2011, but was landed on the Gold Coast with a 15-second penalty for bypassing a buoy while swimming.
This penalty was later upgraded to a disqualification and the Briton decided against a call, despite the continuation of his race.
"Really disappointed with today," he tweeted. "I thought I had a decent race in me.
"First DQ in every sports event. Was on the wrong side of the buoy and I saw it on video.
"But I was disoriented after being hit and held underwater in the hardest bathroom I've ever done."
Mola finished second behind Vincent Luis to add the 2018 title to earlier wins in 2016 and 2017.
The Spaniard was among the top three in each of the last six years, finishing first in front of the podium of Luis and Jacob Birtwhistle.
How does it feel to be world champion 2016, 2017 and now 2018? THREE-PEAT World Titles for @mariomola
– World Triathlon (@worldtriathlon) September 16, 2018