RIO DE JANEIRO, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 9th august,2016) - China and Australia wrangled over doping accusations Monday as Russia's Yuliya Efimova targeted an Olympic swimming medal to celebrate her latest victory over a drug ban. Swimming action dominated the Games after Michael Phelps extended his overall record of gold medals to 19 with a US relay victory on Sunday. But comments by Australia's new 400 metre freestyle champion Mack Horton against his rival Sun Yang unleashed a wave of Chinese fury.
Thousands of social media users demanded that Horton apologise for calling Sun a "drug cheat". Sun, a huge hero in China, served a three month suspension in 2014 for taking a banned stimulant. The state-run Global Times newspaper called Australia "a country on the fringes of civilization" and a former "offshore prison" for Britain. The International Olympic Committee sought to calm the tensions, calling for "respect fellow competitors".
"Clearly we want to encourage freedom of speech," said IOC spokesman Mark Adams. "But on the other hand of course the Olympics is about respecting others and respecting the right of others to compete," he added. "There is a line somewhere there, and each case is different of course, where people should be free to compete in tranquility." China's flag at the Games also caused an outcry. The four small, golden stars on the Chinese emblem are pointing upwards rather than towards the bigger star.
Social media again erupted and Rio organisers said the flags would be replaced. - Swimming boos - ================= Russia's Efimova, 24, who has served two doping bans, was given a last-minute reprieve to get into the Olympics after appealling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Having become a symbol of Russia's fight against the doping storm facing the country, Efimova is aiming for a medal in the 100m breakstroke on Monday.
She was booed when she won her semi-final on Sunday and later acknowledged she has had "a crazy 18 months". But Efimova declared herself "happy to be here and ready for the competition." Efimova served an 18-month suspension after testing positive for a steroid in 2014. This year she failed a test for meldonium and was suspended but this was lifted when the swimming federation FINA decided it could have been taken before the ban started in January.
She was one of seven Russian swimmers banned from Rio by FINA after the release on the McLaren report on Russia state-organised doping. But the CAS said the ban on swimmers who had served punishments was illegal. The doping dispute risked overshadowing the feat of Phelps in winning a new gold and world records smashed by Britain's Adam Peaty and American Katie Ledecky. Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, inspired the United States to victory in the 4x100m freestyle relay.
He starts his campaign for individual gold in the 200m butterfly on Monday. Britain's Peaty took more than 1.5sec off the men's 100m breaststroke world record. Ledecky took nearly two seconds off her world record as she took the women's 400m freestyle title in 3min 56.46sec. Ledecky is bidding to become the first Olympian since Debbie Meyer in 1968 to win the 200m, 400m and 800m free in the same Games. Among the most popular winners on Sunday was the hard-as-nails judoka Majlinda Kelmendi who secured Kosovo's first gold at its first Games since gaining Olympic status in 2014.
But it was revealed on Monday that Kelmendi, 24, has been provisionally suspended in France for refusing to take a doping test while training in France two months ago. Kelmendi was not the only athlete to refuse the test and did so only after her coach Drito Kuka consulted with the International Judo Federation's (IJF) anti-doping officer Andrea Ember, according to French judo magazine l'Esprit du Judo. An IJF spokesman told AFP: "The test was contested by the athlete and her coach and from the IJF's point of view, the procedure seemed contestable. "If there is a sanction, it would only apply to French territory." In Monday's early action in Rio, Italian Niccolo Campriani took the men's 10m air rifle title.