Cape Town — The man who won South Africa's first gold at the 2012 Olympic games, Cameron van der Burgh, has allegedly admitted to using illegal kicks.
Van der Burgh has been accused in the media of doing more than one dolphin kick. According to regulations by the swimming governing body, Fina, breaststrokers are allowed only one dolphin kick at the beginning of the race and after each turn. Extra kicks are said to give swimmers an extra advantage.
The swimmer finished the 100m breaststroke in 58.46 seconds, beating Christian Sprenger and breaking the world record held by Brenton Rickard, who are both from Australia.
"If you are not doing it, you are falling behind," is what Van Der Burgh reportedly told Australia's Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, claiming that this type of kicking was common practice among swimmers.
The newspaper report quotes Van der Burgh saying: "I think it's pretty funny of the Australians to complain because in the underwater footage if you actually look at Brenton Rickard in the lane next to me, he's doing the exact same thing as me yet they're turning a blind eye."
Associated Press reports that swimming officials at the Olympics are considering introducing underwater video cameras to monitor athletes' movements in an effort to curb cheating. Underwater monitoring is not used when declaring swimming results, however, the technology was considered at the world championships in 2009 held in Rome and 2011 in Shanghai.
Meanwhile, the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) denied knowledge of the allegations. They dismissed it as mere media reports, saying both Fina and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had not informed them of anything "untoward".
Van der Burgh is South Africa's first home-trained world record holder and he also formed part of the 2008 Olympic Games team.