Omega admit Čavić Olympic injustice

BELGRADE -- Serbian swimmer Milorad Čavić finished the 100-m butterfly race during last year's Beijing Olympics first, Omega have admitted.

Phelps and Čavić in Rome last week (Tanjug/Xinhua)
Phelps and Čavić in Rome last week (Tanjug/Xinhua)

The official timekeeper for the games and FINA competitions made the statement almost a year after the controversial race that saw Michael Phelps of the United States awarded the gold medal.

Even though the admission was made, Phelps will get to keep his medal, Belgrade daily Blic writes.

Omega said that Čavić was the first to touch the touchpad, but that "Phelps did it more forcefully". Therefore, his finish was registered first.

In the statement, Omega said there is "a huge difference between touching and punching" – the touchpad. The company also said that its recordings, along with what the system showed, were presented to FINA and Čavić's coach, who allegedly "looked at them and said 'OK, no problems, that's a result too,' after a minute".

Meanwhile Čavić's manager Petar Popović said he was surprised by the admission.

"I did not expect Omega to do that, but this is nothing new to us since we knew back in Beijing that Milorad touched the wall first. But there you have it, a year on they remembered and admitted to what the whole world witnessed," said Popović.