"I have a clean conscience. I have written my thesis with my best knowledge I had at the time, and I never intended to plagiarize. However, I will accept the decision of the (University) Senate that has withdrawn my doctorate. But this has got nothing to do with me being a president," President Pal Schmitt said Friday according to CNN.
A committee consisting of four professors and a lawyer said that more than 200 pages of Schmitt's 215-page thesis were either direct translations or showed "partial similarity" to other works, according to the Washington Post.
The committee did fault University of Physical Education also, however, saying the awarding of the degree was an oversight on their part for not noticing the extensive copying and bringing it to Schmitt's attention earlier, according to the Washington Post.
Some are upset by the president's decision, as intellectuals and media have indicated that the former Olympic champion's resignation is favored over the dissertation rewrite, according to the Washington Post.
"I will prove that as a former Olympic champion I still have perseverance. I will prove ... that I can write a so-called Ph.D. dissertation and obtain my doctorate in this manner," Schmitt said, according to the Washington Post.
Schmitt was elected president for a five-year term by Parliament in 2010, according to CNN.