No Choice Left, Athletes Turn to 'Ugly' Self-Policing
Because Olympics officials are too soft on doping: Columnists
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2016 11:01 AM CDT
Russia's Yulia Efimova cries after placing second in the women's 100-meter breaststroke. She was loudly booed, along with being called out by Lilly King.   (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

(Newser) – Team USA's Lilly King may have drawn more attention with her public dissing of Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova than with the gold medal she won. It was "equally triumphant and ugly, an appropriately uncomfortable ending to an awkward saga that will be repeated throughout these Games," writes Bill Plaschke in the Los Angeles Times. With her history of doping, Efimova didn't deserve to be swimming in Rio, and yet there she was, because Olympics officials refuse to crack down appropriately, he writes. As a result, clean athletes have no recourse but to take matters into their own hands—some of the loudest boos cascading on Efimova came from the athletes' section in the stands, after all. And the King-Efimova feud isn't the only one unfolding.

Australian swimmer Mark Horton called China's Sun Yang a "drug cheat," and French cyclist Pauline Ferrand-Prevot called out Britain's Lizzie Armitstead for skipping multiple drug tests. (Armitstead was still allowed to race.) Athletes have long been generally reluctant to come forward against their competitors, but that sentiment seems to be changing at the Rio Games, writes Paul Hayward at the Telegraph. It would have been unnecessary had the IOC and other governing bodies actually done their job. Instead, "athlete self-policing—or naming and shaming—is an understandable response to a colossal failure of governance." Click for Hayward's full column, and for Plaschke's full column.