Controversy has exploded at the Commonwealth Games after an extraordinary act of sportsmanship was overshadowed by an official post-race protest.

The men’s triathlon on Friday night (AEST) ended in scandalous fashion when Kiwi athlete Hayden Wilde served a 10 second penalty with the finish line in sight.

He swerved off to the penalty area in the final straight, taking the silver medal.

Wilde even stopped running to allow gold medallist Alex Yee from England to cross the line and have his special moment all to his own as he crossed the line.

Yee and Wilde are good friends and Wilde’s classy sportsmanship, which included congratulating his competitor as they ran to the finish line, was praised around the world.

However, the situation took a dramatic turn after the race with the New Zealand team launching an official protest.

The appeal surrounded a 10 second penalty handed to Wilde after officials ruled he had removed his helmet too early at the end of the bike leg.

Athletes are not allowed to unstrap their helmets before their bike is racked.

Wilde was overheard calling the penalty “bulls***” to his support team immediately after the race.

After a lengthy delay, it was announced that the medal ceremony would continue with Wilde to be handed the silver medal during the presentation despite the result of the protest yet to be announced.

New Zealand sport reporter Guy Heveldt was at the race and first reported Wilde had appealed.

“All I can say is it’s in the process,” Wilde told Heveldt.

Wilde led most of the race with Yea making up a deficit of 16 seconds following the bike section.

Australia’s Matthew Hauser won bronze — Australia’s first medal of the Games. Fellow Aussie Jacob Birtwhistle finished fourth.

Yea said of Wilde after the race: “He is a great competitor who has brought the best out of me. We are fierce competitors on the course but great friends off it. I hope that together we can do great things for the sport.”

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