Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa set a world record in the 100-meter breaststroke in London, but may have cheated to accomplish that feat. To which he has basically responded: “If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.”
The swimmer admitted to taking extra dolphin kicks at the start of the race, sneaking in three kicks when only allowed one. However, the sport’s governing body does not use underwater replay review, so there is no way that other swimmers can appeal the decision.
When asked about it, van der Burgh had no regrets.
“If you’re not doing it, you’re falling behind,” he claimed. “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.
”It’s got to the sort of point where if you’re not doing it you’re falling behind or you’re giving yourself a disadvantage so everyone’s pushing the rules and pushing the boundaries, so if you’re not doing it, you’re not trying hard enough.”
Van der Burgh was emphatic to the Sydney Morning Herald that other swimmers also use the illegal technique, but suggested that the Olympics begin using underwater replay in the future to level the playing field.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@MarisKaBowlby