FINA, the governing body for swimming, apparently has video that helps reassure without a doubt that Michael Phelps edged Milorad Cavic at the wall in the 100 meter butterfly. But you won't get to see it.
In one of those moves that I'm sure makes sense to FINA and no one else, the fact that the video shows Phelps touches before Cavic is enough. There's no reason to reveal the video to anyone else. Why let everyone see, when you can go on FINA's word. The New York Times explained the exchange:
Christopher Clarey of The International Herald Tribune tracked down Cornel Marculescu, FINA's executive director, at the Water Cube to ask him about the decision to not release the images. Marculescu said it was a matter of policy, and that the Serbian team was satisfied with the ruling after seeing the images - so there is no need to share the images.
Christopher pressed, asking why FINA wouldn't distribute the footage if it showed the margin conclusively. Marculescu said: "We are not going to distribute footage. We are not doing these kinds of things. Everything is good. What are you going to do with the footage? See what the Serbians already saw? It is clarified for us beyond any doubt.
Marculescu forgets one big thing--there's no reason not to release the images. Why not let everyone see what you saw? Is there any harm in it?
And beyond that, Cavic himself seems quite happy to have the silver.
"If it was up to me, I would just drop the protest," he said before FINA made its ruling. "I'm stoked with what happened. I'm very, very happy. I don't want to fight this. It is a gold medal at stake. It's a difficult thing to lose, but you have to understand I came into this competition with the goal to win a bronze medal. I went my best time and did better than bronze. I got silver and almost got gold."But by failing to release the video of the final dash into the wall, FINA is doing no one any favors.