Fuming French Accuse UK of Olympic Dirty Tricks

It's a feud that's been simmering for seven years—or, if you leaf through the history books, since at least the Middle Ages.


From the moment in 2005 that London trumped Paris by four votes in the contest to host the 2012 Olympics, France has seethed—furious that their neighbors and historical adversaries had scored a victory every bit as painful as Napoleon's humbling at the fabled Battle of Waterloo.

Now, French anger has burst out into the open.

In newspapers, on television debate shows and in scores of posts to social networks, Britain is accused of cheating its way to gold medals in the cycling velodrome and of stretching rules on the rowing course. British crowds have been blasted for failing to show enough support to rival nations' competitors, while organizers have faced scorn for failing to rein in judges deemed too harsh on French athletes.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has even defended his country's track cyclists—who won a formidable haul of 14 medals—from insinuations that their success must be the result of drugs or illegally modified bicycles.