Mark Cavendish has admitted he was responsible for a dramatic crash in the Olympic Velodrome as a Dutch journalist tweeted details of a tense exchange with the rider.
The cyclist won a silver medal in the omnium track cycling race, but there was drama mid-race when he crashed into South Korea’s Park Sanghoon, who was taken to hospital on a stretcher.
The leader of the race, Italy’s Elia Viviani, was also taken out during the incident, which forced the race to stop. Viviani went on to win gold when the contest was re-started.
Some observers suggested the most successful British rider in Tour de France history could have been disqualified.
In the event, there was no complaints from other riders.
According to reports from the Press Association (PA) news agency, the Great Britain rider is said to have had a series of confrontations with journalists in the media mixed zone when questioned about the incident.
It went on that some were reporting he threatened to sue them for suggesting he did it deliberately. But Cavendish did admit culpability, it added.
“It was my fault,” he said. “I should’ve looked where I was going a bit more. I hope he’s all right. I apologised to Elia, who went down.”
A Dutch journalist and former cyclist tweeted what appears to be one of the confrontations reported. He alleges:
On the BBC, Cavendish received support from Olympic cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy, who said the crash “wasn’t an intentional thing”.
He added: “Things can get quite physical and you can get quite aggressive in a race, but that wasn’t an aggressive move. If he was being aggressive he would would have ducked the shoulder in or the elbow. That was careless. I’m sure he’ll speak to the Korean and apologise.”