Advertisement

Russian swimmer: Should Michael Phelps be banned for life?

By
Alex Butler
Yulia Efimova of Russia smiles holding her silver medal after the women's 200m breaststroke final at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on August 11, 2016. Photo by Matthew Healey/UPI
Yulia Efimova of Russia smiles holding her silver medal after the women's 200m breaststroke final at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on August 11, 2016. Photo by Matthew Healey/UPI | License Photo

RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- Yulia Efimova has two silver medals in Rio de Janeiro but they have been overshadowed by boos.

The Russian swimmer has been flagged twice for taking banned substances. One of the drugs she tested positive for, Meldonium, is the same drug that booted superstar Maria Sharapova from tennis for two years. Efimova served a 16-month suspension from 2013 to 2015.

Advertisement

American swimmer Lilly King brought Efimova to the forefront at the Summer Games when she said that she thinks that she and other substance offenders should be banned for life.

"You're shaking your finger No. 1 and you've been caught for drug cheating," King told NBC after winning a semifinal race. "I'm just not a fan."

RELATED Live Medal Count: Team USA's updated individual tally

Efimova responded Thursday, by asking King if she thinks American swimming legend Michael Phelps should be among those banned for life.

"What would she say about Michael Phelps," Efimova told reporters, according to Yahoo Sports.

Phelps was suspended once in 2014 after an arrest for driving under the influence. He was also suspended after a photograph emerged of the 22-time Olympic gold medalist smoking from a bong. Phelps has never tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. He backed King's comments on Efimova.

RELATED Rio Roundup: Simone Biles grabs gold, Aly Raisman wins silver

"Of course I'm not for doping, and I've never used it on purpose," Efimova told Yahoo Sports. "But I know there have been very many occasions where people do it because they don't know or because they're stupid or naïve. There always should be another chance. When you are driving a car and break a rule, you get only a ticket. You don't lose your license for life or get put in jail."

King, 19, beat Efimova for the gold medal with an Olympic record in the 100-meter breaststroke. But Efimova, 24, earned a silver medal in the 200-meter breaststroke, while King failed to qualify for the final.

King told USA Today that offenders, including Americans, should not be allowed to have a place on an Olympic team.

RELATED Team USA judoka Kayla Harrison has "Ronda Rousey complex," considers MMA

"It is just something that needs to be set in stone that this is what we are going to do," King told USA Today. "Let's settle this and be done with it. There should not be any bouncing back and forwards."

Latest Headlines