When I was in uni, I had a couple of courses where the mode of assessment was by way of a three-hour take-home exam. I knew that virtually everyone was discussing the exam questions on MSN (discussions were obviously not allowed). I did the exams all on my own. I felt great when I got a good grade. I would not have felt as good if I had gotten it by cheating.
What's the value of an Olympic gold medal that's obtained by cheating? Saying that 'everyone else is doing it' is just a cheap excuse, and it's quite sad that this guy seems to feel justified in doing what he did.
Kudos to him for admitting it, I guess.
That just defeats the purpose of doing the "exam" (if you can even call it that since you could take it home for crying out loud)
But relating to this issue, there's some validity in your point. Except what the swimmer did was illegal, yet the case of a take-home-exam is not since you can look up answers at home during free time (I assume because of that reason). I see where your coming from though in terms of self-fulfillment.