Monday, August 8, 2016

So I Sing a Song of Contempt For Yulia

Are you kidding me?
Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova just qualified for the final of the women's 100-meter breaststroke despite having what I would call a very serious history of steroid use.  She tested positive for a banned substance in 2014 and got stripped of her many medals and records by FINA, the international governing body of swimming.  Another ban followed when she tested positive in March 2016 for a drug developed in Soviet-era Latvia to treat irregular blood flow.  Apparently it's used as a performance enhancer (there's that phrase again!) in international competition.
Yet, somehow, the ban got overturned, and Efimova is now a finalist in Rio, a status that Olympic swimming champion and NBC commentator Rowdy Gaines has a problem with it. And I have a problem with it too.  She's been caught cheating twice, and yet she's being allowed to swim?  Gee, I guess that would explain the booing she's gotten at the Olympic aquatic center.  When she won her qualifiers, she declared herself to be number one with her finger. (Which finger?)  
The final will pit Efimova against Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania and Lilly King of the United States, among others.  I would be happy with either one of them winning over this cheater.
In the men's 100-meter breaststroke, meanwhile, Adam Peaty of Great Britain set a new world record to get the gold after having set the previous world record in the qualifiers.  Yes, he's that good.  U.S. bronze medalist Cody Miller set a new American record in that event.
And, oh yes, Katie Ledecky just broke her own world record in the women's 400-meter freestyle swim, going fast like a Porsche 356.  Her time was . . . 3.56.  Give or take a hundredth of a second.

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