Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Two interesting days of Track Cycling and two controversial Team GB medals at Rio 2016

On Monday, Mark Cavendish won a silver medal in the omnium after a controversial crash, which he caused. Many, myself included, think he did that on purpose, both based on the footage (https://streamable.com/hyo2) — in which he can bee seen looking back twice — and his "moments" in road cycling, which are well known by cycling fans. Cavendish has not been found guilty.
I was watching BBC and the commentators barely spoke about the moment and didn't ask questions about it when a reporter interviewed Cavendish after the race. In my opinion, that was quite remarkable.

On Tuesday, Jason Kenny won gold in keirin, supposedly after a false start earlier in the race along with Malaysian Azizulhasni Awang, who ended up winning bronze. The rules state “in the case when one or more riders pass the back wheel of the pacer before he leaves the track, the race will be stopped and rerun without the rider[s] at fault, which will be disqualified.” Both riders were not disqualified.

Later in the race, German Joachim Eilers also had a false start. He wasn't disqualified. I think because of the fact that the other two riders weren't disqualified earlier. If true, that would mean the rules were broken twice during that race.

This story by +The Telegraph makes things even weirder for me:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/olympics/2016/08/17/how-two-team-gb-data-analysts-helped-jason-kenny-during-farcical/

I recommend reading the full report, but it basically suggests that the decision not to disqualify Kenny was (partly) based on Team GB footage. I don't know about the rules on this, but in my opinion objective decision making is not possible anymore when that happens.

Here you can see Team GB head coach Iain Dyer discussing with chief commissaire Alex Donike http://imgur.com/xdU2gXU

It's not the first time this year a British cyclist is involved in controversy. In the Tour the France, Chris Froome ran up part of a mountain without his bike. A move that could only mean disqualification according to some experts. That didn't happen.

Rules exist to ensure fair play. If rules are broken, fair play isn't possible anymore. What do the Olympics or Olympic medals even mean then?