Moscow, Aug 24 (IANS) Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova, who won two silver medals at the Rio Olympics, said on Wednesday she continued to respect United States legend Michael Phelps but considered his remark on doping as “uncomely”.
Phelps, the 23-time Olympic champ, said earlier “it breaks my heart” to see athletes at the Olympics who had served bans for doping, reports Tass.
“Everything was easier before the Olympics but now the relations are strained,” Efimova told Tass.
“Some friends have remained, others do not talk and I have no female friends in sport. I respect Phelps. He is an incredible athlete. But he behaved towards me in a way that it was unpleasant for me,” Efimova said.
“He was my benchmark and I looked up to him. Now I have heard that he didn’t speak specifically about me but about the general situation. But everyone has his or her own history,” she added.
Efimova won silver in women’s 100m and 200m breaststroke at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The athlete was also the bronze medallist of the 2012 Olympic Games, the four-time world champion and the three-time European champion.
Earlier, Efimova was denied entry to the Rio Olympics for violating doping rules back in 2013, for which she served a term of disciplinary punishment.
On August 4, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne granted her lawsuit against FINA (International Swimming Federation) and the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC). The International Olympic Committee participated in considering the case as a party concerned.
The results of the court’s scrutiny cleared the road to Rio for the Russian swimmer.