Usain Bolt, the world's fastest man, had to smuggle the skipping rope he uses to train into the Olympic Stadium after an official took it off him on his way to the 100 metres final.
The Jamaican sprinter also said that he had been irritated when an official told him to “stay in a straight line” before his 100m triumph, the showpiece event of the games, watched on TV by just over 20 million viewers.
After successfully opening the defence of his 200m title, Bolt commented, “Oh my God, why are there so many rules?! You can't do nothing. It's weird, some of the rules. I was coming in a while ago and I had my skipping rope in my bag and they said I can't bring it in. I am going to do it tomorrow. I am going to stick it under my bag, bottom of my bag or something.”
Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG has ordered an investigation, but stressed that skipping ropes were not expressly banned. He said, “I will look at this. I presume the skipping rope was a warm-up aid so I will look at that.”
However, it was not clear at what exact point Bolt's rope was taken off him. Organising committee spokeswoman Jackie Brock-Doyle said, “If it was taken away before the stadium, then that is not correct. If it was taken before he entered the field of play (track), then that is probably correct. We are still looking into it.”
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have already made moves to dismiss the incident on health and safety grounds by stating on Twitter that the “daft Usain 'elf and safety story is well off track.”