On Thursday (Aug. 2), 19-year-old Philip Hindes was racing other track cyclists and began to wobble during the three-lap race, falling at the first bend. The race had to be re-started, and after that the British trio that included Hindes, Jason Kenny and Chris Hoy won the gold.
And this is where the truth gets cloudy. “I just crashed, I did it on purpose to get a restart, just to have the fastest ride. I did it. So it was all planned, really,” the British media reports Hindes saying after the race, according to the New York Daily News. Later, at the official news conference, Hindes reportedly changed his story, saying instead that he had simply lost control of his bike.
But according to IOC spokesman Mark Adams and the International Cycling Union, there’s nothing that necessitates an investigation or possible stripping of medals. “[The Cycling Union] are obviously aware of the situation, and at this stage they don’t see any reason to question the result,” Adams tells reporters. “At this stage, neither do we.”
Even the team’s French competitors said it was all part of the game, and that they had no plans to file an official complaint. “You have to make the most of the rules. You have to play with them in a competition and no one should complain about that,” explains the France team’s technical director Isabelle Gautheron.
Asked whether her athletes would have done the same thing, Gautheron hesitated. “Hindes prepared for that possibility and knew exactly what to do after his poor start,” she says. “We don’t share the same kind of mindset.”
Others are saying that Hindes’ only transgression was telling the truth to reporters. “He should not have told the truth,” says Daniel Morelon, a Frenchman who coaches the China team. “It’s part of the game, but you should not tell others.”