Fri, September 20, 2013

Olympic gold medallist: Yeah, I cheated

By QMI Agency


South Africa's Cameron Van Der Burgh celebrates after setting a world record to win the men's 100m breaststroke final during the London 2012 Olympic Games July 29. He won the gold medal in world record time of 58.46 seconds. (REUTERS)

A South African swimmer who won gold at the London Summer Games has reportedly admitted to cheating in the final race.

According to Australia's Sydney Morning Herald, Cameron van der Burgh broke the world record en route to winning the 100M breaststroke final Sunday — though footage taken from underwater cameras shows he took three "dolphin kicks" at the race's start, sparking complaints from Australia.

In breaststroke races, competitors are allowed to take one "dolphin kick" at the start of the race and at each turn.

Yes, he broke the rules, van der Burgh admitted, but only because everyone else does, too.

"If you're not doing it, you're falling behind. It's not obviously — shall we say — the moral thing to do, but I'm not willing to sacrifice my personal performance and four years of hard work for someone that is willing to do it and get away with it," he's quoted as saying.

"I think every single swimmer does that. At the point in time before the 'fly kick was legal (when swimmers weren't allowed any dolphin kicks at all), (Japanese four-time Olympic gold medallist Kosuke) Kitajama was doing it, and obviously the Americans were complaining."

This isn't the first time an Olympian has admitted to cheating after winning in London.

Britain's Philip Hindes, who won gold in cycling, admitted to intentionally crashing his bike in a preliminary race to get a restart. The International Olympic Committee will not revoke his medal — nor is it likely they'll revoke van der Burgh's gold.