The first four racers manage to grab the first four bottles no problem, in order; however as Amdouni arrives he makes a grab for the fifth, but knocks it over... and the sixth... and the seventh... and the eighth... as his open palm completely clears the table of about 30 bottles, until he finally manages to grab the very last bottle for himself, leaving the runners close in his wake empty handed.
The incident earned him a lot of colorful names on the internet, including from Piers Morgan, who branded him "biggest Olympic d---head." Many called for him to be banned, fined, dropped by his sponsors, and worse.
But according to the French runner himself, it was an accident. He finally addressed the incident on his Facebook page, claiming he had genuinely tried to grab the first available bottle, but it was "too slippy."
"To put an end to all the sterile polemics in the video, I put this video to actually understand what happened," he wrote, alongside a zoomed-in clip of his supposed butterfingers.
"To guarantee freshness to the bottles, these are soaked in water. Which makes them slippery," he said.
"It is clear that I am trying to get one from the beginning of the row but these slide when we barely touch them."
He has since switched his Facebook page to private.
In an Instagram video, he also apologized to the other runners:
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"With fatigue and all that, I was gradually starting to lose lucidity and energy, while hanging on," he said, per RMC Sport. "I would like to apologize to the athletes."
"At one point, I tried to hold a bottle of water but I dropped some. It was not easy, trying to be able to hang on... In principle, I try to be able to share also during the race, the bottles of water. water, while respecting everyone and going high and proud, to be able to fight for our jersey colors."
Not everybody was buying it, however. As many pointed out, one of the racers directly behind him who missed out on a water bottle — the Netherlands' Abdi Nageeye — did manage to grab a silver medal instead, while Amdouni languished in 17th.