The USA has been having a great run at the Rio Olympics, so far maintaining its success at this major event. The country has claimed every gold in men’s 100-meter backstroke since Jeff Rouse got the silver after Canada’s Mark Tewksbury in 1992.
The streak was kept intact on Monday when Ryan Murphy won the gold for the event at the Rio Olympics. The Americans already have a medal tally of 19 and the women’s swimming event contributed to it largely on the third day.
Lilly King not only won the gold on Monday but also broke the Olympic record for the event in the process. The Olympic record for Women’s 100 Breaststroke was 1:05.17, which was broken by Lilly King. She completed the event and set up a new Olympic record of 1:04.93.
Lilly King skirted controversy at the Olympics when she openly spoke about her Russian opponent, Yulia Efimova. The Russian camp has been facing the backlash of doping incidents and Lilly King mentioned how the current world champion, Yulia Efimova, carried on drug-cheating to get her records. Efimova had been suspended from the sport for 16 months and is currently back in action after her suspension ended in 2015.
As reported by BBC, Efimova was allowed to participate in the Rio Olympics after she appealed against a doping suspension. She won the silver in the 100 Breaststroke event but was booed by the audience during the event. Efimova was tested in 2013 and traces of the anabolic steroid were found in her system.
The International Olympic Committee had made it very clear that any Russian athlete who had been tested positive for doping would be kept out of the Rio Olympics, but Yulia Efimova appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sports. Efimova’s 16-month ban ended in 2015, but she was under a provisional ban after being tested positive for meldonium.
The International Swimming Federation lifted her provisional suspension on advice from the World Anti-Doping Agency. The Court of Arbitration for Sports ruled that athletes couldn’t be kept out of the Olympics because they had been tested positive previously.
King reflected the attitude of many other athletes who feel that doping isn’t something that should be taken lightly. She didn’t approve of Yulia Efimova being allowed to compete, and the feud was very clear during the event.
Even though Efimova got the silver medal, King made it clear that it was possible to win while being completely clean. She said that when someone puts in the work, they will come out on top, and there is a right way to become the best.
Russia has been having a tough time in the Rio Olympics with many of the athletes facing a backlash from the spectators and the other athletes. Before the Opening Ceremony on Friday, it was expected that the whole Russian contingent would face banning from the Olympics.
Even though 70% of the athletes have been cleared for the games, the response to the team doesn’t seem to have changed. The Russian contingents weren’t cheered at the Opening Ceremony, and this has continued in the different events as well.
Mark Adams, the spokesman for the International Olympic Committee stated that they weren’t happy with the ruling of the Court of Arbitration for Sport. They had expected the body to be stricter when it came to doping, but since they are a higher body, the IOC has no option but to follow their orders.