Yulia Efimova made her first public comments since being allowed to compete at the Rio Olympics following a suspension for doping.
Answering a single question from The Associated Press after posting the second-fastest qualifying time in the 100-meter breaststroke Sunday, the Russian swimmer described the last six months as “crazy” and said she didn’t “understand what’s going on.”
The reigning world champion went to say “I’m just happy to be here and I’m ready to race.” When pressed on criticism from rival swimmers and coaches, she smiled and walked away.
Efimova heard a smattering of boos after she was announced as winning her heat.
Revelations of a state-sponsored doping ring in Russia led to Efimova being banned from Rio because of a previous 16-month doping suspension, not to mention another positive test this year for the now-banned substance meldonium.
That result was placed on hold while world anti-doping officials conduct further studies on the drug.