Beijing, China - The Olympic swimming world was rocked today by the announcement that all swimming records have been cancelled and all medal winners are to be stripped of their awards after officials confirmed that the pool in the Water Cube falls short of Olympic Standards.
Many had wondered why so many records had been set during the games but it was amateur poolspotter Arthur Pratt, 36, of Preston, UK who spotted the calamity.
"I'd been attending every day at the games and had my suspicions", Pratt said, "So on Tuesday night myself and my wife Diedre crept into the Cube and using my trusty British made steel tape measure found that the pool was 5mm (Fraction of an inch) too short!"
FINA, the governing body of Olympic pools confirmed that the Beijing pool was 49.995 metres instead of the required 50 meters.
"This has made all the difference", commented OIC spokesman for swimming, Mick Flipper, "Considering Phelps won one race by 200/ths of a second, if he had to swim that extra 5mm the outcome could have been vastly different"
Chinese authorities are at a loss as to how the blunder occurred. "Maybe it's because we used a chinese tape measure which are notoriously inaccurate, or it could have been those extra coats of paint we slapped on to pretty the pool up". Said Sing Sing Ming on behalf of the Government.
The Pool will be rebuild and the swimming events re-ran sometime in early 2009. An unhappy Phelps commented "I suppose I'll have to get my medals out of the pawn shop and hope I'm still up to it next year."