Despite calls from several nations (including the United States), the IOC decided against a complete ban on Russian athletes at the 2016 Olympics in Rio after a WADA report found that dozens of Winter Olympic athletes were doping at the 2014 games in Sochi, and that the Russian government was involved in the cover-up.
One of the athletes to benefit from the IOC’s decision is swimmer Yulia Efimova, who is a favorite to take home the gold medal in the 100m breaststroke when the final heat goes down on Monday night. Efimova was one of seven Russian swimmers initially banned from the Olympics after she failed numerous drug tests, however, the IOC controversially lifted her ban allowing her to compete.
That brings us to Sunday night. After American Lilly King posted the best time in her semifinal heat in the 100m breaststroke, she watched Efimova take first in hers and celebrate with a No. 1 hand gesture. King is obviously not a fan, and she reacted with a finger wag that instantly made her a fan-favorite.
When interviewed after the incident by Michelle Tafoya, King had this to say about her reaction to Efimova’s celebration:
“You know, you’re shaking your finger number one and you’ve been caught for drug cheating. Just not a fan.
King’s Mutombo-like finger wag made her Twitter famous on Sunday night, as fans watching the games reacted to the feud between two of the favorites for Monday’s final.
After last night’s thrilling relay race, swimming will once again take center stage on NBC primetime tonight as King will try to back up her strong words and prevent Efimova from taking home the gold in the 100m breaststroke final.