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Russian “drug cheat” Yulia Efimova breaks down after loss to USA’s Lilly King

The Russian swimmer placed silver behind King.

Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova, twice banned for doping in the past, had a tearful day at the blocks today after she medalled in second position behind ‘arch nemesis’ Lilly King of the USA.

The 24-year-old was met with booes and hisses as she entered the stadium to swim the women’s 100m breaststroke, with swimming fans upset that she was allowed to compete after she served a 16-month suspension for illegal substance use between 2013 and 2015. The swimmer also failed another drug test for meldonium earlier this year only to have her conviction overturned in time for the Olympics.

Efimova came head-to-head with American swimmer Lilly King, who had previously admitted she’s “not a fan” of Efimova and had given a cheeky ‘Number One’ finger wag at during the semi-finals.

But after her loss, Efimova seemed overwhelmed by the moment and reportedly broke down during her post-swim interview.

Refusing to comment on her rivalry with King, Efimova simply noted: “I am sad that I could not win a gold for Russia, but I am happy to have won silver.”

Efimova previously opened up to USA TODAY Sports, saying, “All the stuff that happened with me was unbelievable. I am happy to be here and racing finally. That is what is best. Try to understand me if you switch your and my side.”

“I have once made mistakes and been banned for six months. The second time it was not my mistake,” said Efimova.

“For me it is very hard to swim. These few weeks have been crazy.”

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