Lilly King has issue with Justin Gatlin competing in Olympics

American gold medalist and all-world swimmer Lilly King has been making news for multiple reasons during his stint in Rio.

Fresh off winning gold in the 100-meter breaststroke over Russia’s Yulia Efimova, King decided to speak out against two members of the United States Olympic team.

This comes on the heels of King calling out Efimova for her involvement in that nation’s now infamous doping scandal.

At the very least, we now know that King doesn’t let patriotism get in the way of justifiably criticizing fellow countrymen.

While King’s comments were directed specifically at sprinter Justin Gatlin, it’s readily apparent that fellow sprinter Tyson Gay was also a target.

Gatlin has been suspended twice by United States Anti-Doping Agency. The first ban came amid allegations of doping back in 2001, a ban that culminated in him being forced from competition for two years. The sprinter was then banned back in 2006 for four years.

Meanwhile, Gay was banned from July of 2013 to June of 2014. Both are competing in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.

While the Russian team drew a ton of news in the lead up to the Olympics, it’s interesting that a fellow athlete would be so outspoken against one of her own.

King had previously indicated that Efimova, who she beat in Monday’s event, was a cheater.


“(Efimova is) shaking your finger number one, and you’ve been caught for drug cheating,” King said over the weekend. “I’m just not a fan.”

As has been par for the course for Russia, Efimova was reinstated without any prior reasoning this past weekend. That obviously rubbed King the wrong way.

Though, she made sure to extend said criticism to her own team following her gold medal performance on Monday. King should receive props for that.