Tactical cycling crash compared to doping

Australian Olympic track bronze medallist Kaarle McCulloch says deliberately crashing out of a cycling event to secure a re-start is on par with doping.

The 24-year old who won bronze in the women's team sprint on Thursday with teammate Anna Meares says the action of British cyclist Philip Hindes - who admitted deliberately crashing for tactical reasons during qualifying for the men's team sprint - was unethical.

"Of course it is," she said during an Australian team media conference on Friday.

"You don't want to see anybody gain an advantage over doing something like that. It's like doping. You assume everybody that you go up against is fair and they wouldn't go to those extremes."

Despite German-born Hindes' admission trackside post race that "I did it on purpose to get a restart", British cycling say the cyclist was misunderstood - because English is his second language.

With teammates Chris Hoy and Jason Kenny, the 19-year old went on to secure gold in the event ahead of France.

"I can't imagine that Phillip would have done that on purpose," McCulloch said of the crash which she witnessed at the Olympic velodrome.

Cycling rules dictate that athletes can request a re-start if they experience mechanical issues during the first half lap. Each team is also permitted one restart for a false start.

"Obviously with a crash you'll get an automatic re-run and to be honest I wouldn't want to crash in front of my teammates, potentially causing them to crash as well," McCulloch said.

Hindes wobbled at the start gate, lost control of his bike and tumbled down the steep track on the first bend of the controversial qualifier.

Afterwards he told reporters: "We were saying if we had a bad start we need to crash to get a restart. I just crashed, I did it on purpose to get a restart, just to have the fastest ride. I did it. So it was all planned, really."

The International Cycling Union (ICU) confirmed the result was legitimate, and French coach Florian Rousseau accepted the result but said Hindes' ploy was a poor example of Olympic spirit.

"There was no cheating. The British team was much stronger than the French team and I congratulate them on their success," he said.

"However, I do think the rules need to be more precise so we don't find ourselves in an identical situation at another Olympic Games.

"The fact that he (Hindes) did it on purpose is not very good for the image of cycling. We must reflect on how we can adapt the rules so that does not happen again in future."

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