Victorious Great Britain team sprint cyclist Philip Hindes has
admitted he deliberately crashed in qualifying to secure a
The French, who later lost the gold medal race to the British, also said they knew Hindes' mishap just after the start was not accidental.
But the astonishing admission will not affect Great Britain's gold medal, which they achieved with two successive world record rides.
Hindes, the British lead-off rider, went down only metres after leaving the start gate in their qualifying run.
They restarted, as was allowed under competition rules, and qualified fastest in 43.065 seconds.
Great Britain then set a world record of 42.747 in the first round and reduced it further to 42.600 when they beat France for the gold medal.
Speaking after they had won the event, Hindes told reporters:
"We were saying if we have a bad start we need to crash to get a
"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."
Hindes, 19, is a German-born rider who joined the British system two years ago.
He made the original comments trackside, but his story had changed by the time he fronted the formal post-event media conference.
"No. I just went out the gate and just lost control, just fell down," he said when speaking to the media for a second time.
"My back wheel slipped and totally lost control and then I couldn't handle the bike any more and just crashed."
The Australian track cycling team would not buy into the controversy, with a spokesperson saying they had no comment.
But French track team chief Isabelle Gautheron told AFP: "It's pretty obvious from the video pictures that he crashed to get the restart.
"There is nothing in the rules to sanction such an action. But now that he's come out and said it, I hope the authorities consider making a change to the rules.
"We're still bitter to have lost the final."