After Friday's smoothly executed opening ceremony and the first batch of inspiring gold medals, the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are once again mired in controversy. But rather than Brazil's own local battles with corruption and Zika, it's the athletes themselves undermining the Games.
Sparks flew poolside as Rio's Olympic swimmers traded insults and accusations over doping. Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova was allowed to compete despite receiving previous bans for doping, and her Irish rival Fiona Foyle claimed Efimova "got away with it again" after failing to qualify for the semifinals in her event. In the men's competition, Australian gold medalist Mack Horton called Chinese runner-up and defending champion Sun Yang a "drug cheat" for his three-month suspension in 2014.
The episode enraged supporters in China, prompting the state-run daily Global Times to label Australia an "offshore prison â€¦ on the fringes of civilization." Chinese netizens also demanded apologies, with one hoping that Horton would be "killed by a kangaroo."
Meanwhile, the allegations of "state-sponsored" doping by Russia featured a new twist as all its athletes were banned from next month's Paralympic Games. The punishment was a departure from the more lenient punishment for Russia's Olympians, which as noted above did nothing to prevent the Foyle-Efimova swimming spat. Only three days in, and cold water is already risking to snuff out Rio's Olympic spirit.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY