London 2012 Olympic cycling has been beset by confusion after Victoria Pendleton and team mate Jess Varnish were relegated for an illegal takeover, meaning the British team missed out on a chance of Olympic gold.
Following that, there was further discord when British rider Philip Hindes apparently admitted crashing to help the team, which consisted of himself, Sir Chris Hoy and Jason Kenny.
“I just crashed, I did it on purpose to get a restart, just to have the fastest ride,” Hindes said after he was seen to wobble then topple from his bike at the start of the race.
However the incident will not be investigated, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said, claiming that the spirit of competition was not damaged by Hindes “deliberate” fall from his bike.
Cycling teams are allowed a second start and it seems that Hindes intentionally crashed because his team’s start was not good enough.
The decision to allow this, in contrast to the exclusion of several badminton teams after they apparently tried to lose their match, may seem surprising to some onlookers.
However, the IOC backed up its decision, saying:
“People were not deprived of a competition, unlike in the badminton. A race took place and best efforts were made by the British team. This is a matter of degree and judgement. In the case of the badminton it clearly crossed the line.”
On their second start, Hoy, Hindes and Kenny won the three-man, three-lap team sprint in a world record of 42.600 seconds.