Van der Burgh: ‘I’ve been the victim of some Oz press’

2012-08-10 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — South African swimmer Cameron van der Burgh says he’s a “victim” of attacks in the Australian media as debate continues over his admission that he used an illegal dolphin kick in winning the Olympic 100 metres breaststroke gold medal in world-record time.

Arriving in South Africa to a cheering crowd at O.R. Tambo International Airport yesterday, Van der Burgh posed for photographs wearing the gold medal.

He has acknowledged doing the extra kicks — only one is allowed in a 100 metres breaststroke race — but said he was forced to because the rule was not policed properly and illegal kicking had become common.

Yesterday he denied any wrongdoing, saying: “It’s unfortunate; I’ve been the victim of some Australian press.

“Throughout my swimming career, I’ve never been disqualified once. I’ve never been warned once. From the heat to the semis to the finals, there were six different judges that watched every spot, every turn and every stroke and I was cleared. Those people are not there for a holiday.”

Since the race, officials from swim governing body Fina said that they are considering the introduction of underwater video for judging.

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