IOC says Team GB gold will stand despite Philip Hindes admitting he deliberately crashed to help propel Sir Chris Hoy to victory


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The Independent Online

British Cycling sprint coach Jan van Eijden has defended Philip Hindes after the 19-year-old admitted to deliberately crashing before propelling Great Britain to team pursuit gold on day one at the London 2012 Olympic Velodrome.

The International Olympic Committee and International Cycling Union said Britain's gold medal - Sir Chris Hoy's fifth - will stand despite Hindes' admission, which appeared to be naive, but not a contradiction of the rules.

Hindes fell after making a wobbly start in qualifying before picking himself up to help Britain to two world record rides - lowering the mark to 42.600 seconds in the final - as Hoy and Jason Kenny successfully defended their title in the three-man, three-lap event.

Hindes won a first Olympic gold after fulfilling the specialist starter role which had appeared troublesome since Beijing.

Hindes, born in Germany to a British father, joined British Cycling's academy in October 2010 after contacting Van Eijden and was a surprise inclusion in April's Track Cycling World Championships team before his glorious Olympic debut, which was tinged with controversy, something Van Eijden played down.

Van Eijden said: "With that pressure and everything, he was just not able to control it (his bike) and then he just fell off.

"He just tried too hard to get out of the gate, he lifted the front wheel.

"You could see how square his bike was - the front wheel was on the red line and the rear was on the black (65cm apart). That's not how you start.

"It didn't influence anyone else, it didn't affect the drawing and you saw before there were two mishaps before and no-one said anything about that."

The fact it was premeditated led some to compare it to the disqualified badminton players, but Van Eijden dismissed the comparison.

He added: "In sport you try to go into every detail. You talk about things and that's how it is.

"In the rules a restart is after having a mishap, a fall and a false start. We just go through them and I would assume every other nation would.

"It's so important you try to get everything right and make sure you work to perfection."

Van Eijden praised Hindes' response after the incident.

The former world sprint champion added: "It was unbelievable. I take my hat off to Philip. He carried the pressure. He needed to deliver, because without him, however fast Jason and Chris were going, there was no chance."

IOC communications director Mark Adams earlier said there was no reason to question the result.

He said: "At present there are no plans to do so. Our view is that people were not deprived of a contest."

A spokesperson for the UCI, cycling's world governing body, told Press Association Sport: "We do not have any reason to question the result of the race."

France, who finished second to Britain, accepted the result but hoped the incident might result in a rule change in future.

Any discussion over rule changes would have to wait until the end of the Olympic period.

This would also cover the women's team sprint, which saw Britain's Victoria Pendleton and Jess Varnish relegated for a takeover infringement and ruled out of the gold medal ride-off, before China's Gong Jinjie and Guo Shuang were relegated in the final, despite being the quickest team, for a similar offence - failing to change over within the required period of track, which is marked by a thin strip of white tape.

China had to settle for silver as Germany's Kristina Vogel and Miriam Welte, who had advanced third fastest behind China and Britain, were awarded gold.

Van Eijden said: "With the women's change, there's no way to argue. We failed there. Unfortunately it's sport."

The restart rule is present for a "mishap", such as a mechanical problem, but two successive similar incidents would result in a relegation.

Australia's Kaarle McCulloch, who won bronze in the women's event, said: "I assume and hope that every athlete has good sportsmanship and I don't think the British team would have done something like that on purpose.

"I can't imagine that Philip would have done that on purpose and it was obviously maybe a slip of the wheel - the track is quite slippy with the tyres we run.

"I can't say Philip did it on purpose and I don't think he would have."