19-year-old US swimmer throws shade at Russian rival after winning 'clean' gold medal

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19-year-old US swimmer Lilly King sent a strong message Monday, beating Russian swimmer Yuliya Yefimova in the 100-meter breast stroke to take home the gold medal.

King had set up a rivalry Sunday night when she took offense to Yefimova declaring herself No. 1 after winning a qualifying heat for the 100-meter breakstroke.

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Cameras caught King, behind the scenes, watching Yefimova on TV and wagging her finger as if to say "no, no, no."

lilli king 1NBC Sports

Later, when King also finished first in her heat, she raised her finger, mocking Yefimova. She then told NBC's Michelle Tafoya that she didn't appreciate the gesture from Yefimova, who once served a 16-month ban for testing positive for a steroid. This year, Yafimova also tested positive for meldonium, the same drug Maria Sharapova is suspended for, but has not been punished.

Fast-forward to Monday night, and King and Yefimova were lined up next to each other in the 100-meter breaststroke final, with a medal on the line. In a white-knuckle race, King took home the gold, beating Yefimova by .57 seconds.

After the race, King twice threw shade at Yefimova, though she did so in a back-handed way. In another interview with Tafoya, who asked if King made a statement by winning, King said the U.S. proved they can "compete clean and still win."

Swimming - Olympics: Day 3
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Later, in a press conference with Yefimova next to her, King again took a jab, saying, "It was so incredible, winning a gold medal and knowing I did it clean."

That's top-level trash talk by King — subtle and inoffensve, but pointed enough to send a message.

King is what U.S. Swimming needs.

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 07: Simone Biles of the United States competes on the balance beam during Women's qualification for Artistic Gymnastics on Day 2 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Rio Olympic Arena on August 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 07: Jonas Valanciunas of Lithuania shoots over Marcus Vinicius Marquinhos of Brazil during a Men's preliminary round basketball game between Brazil and Lithuania on Day 2 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Carioca Arena 1 on August 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 07: Segun Toriola of Nigeria plays a Men's Singles second round match against Koki Niwa of Japan on Day 2 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Riocentro - Pavilion 3 on August 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 06: Bret Bonanni #10 of United States shoots the ball against Croatia during the Men's Water Polo Preliminary Round - Group B match between the United States of America and Croatia at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre on August 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Anna Marton of Hungary, right, fences against Manon Brunet of France during women's saber individual fencing competition in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Aug. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Russia's Middle Khamukov Petr is punched by Venezuela's Albert Ramon Ramirez during a men's light heavyweight 81-kg preliminary boxing match at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Hungary's Katinka Hosszu competes in a women's 100-meter backstroke heat during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 07: Laura Giombini of Italy (R) reacts during the Women's Beach Volleyball preliminary round Pool D match against Jamie Lynn Broder and Kristina Valjas of Canada on Day 2 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Beach Volleyball Arena on August 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 07: Robert Gardos of Austria plays a Men's Singles second round match against Ovidiu Ionescu of Romania on Day 2 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Riocentro - Pavilion 3 on August 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 07: Shu-Ching Hsu of Chinese Taipei competes during the Women's 53kg Group A weightlifting contest on Day 2 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Riocentro - Pavilion 2 on August 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
Italy's Pietro Zucchetti, left, and teammate Ruggero Tita attend a training session of the 49er Men event during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Argentina's Federico Pizarro tries to score a penalty during the men's preliminary handball match between Denmark and Argentina at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Belgium's Laura Waem performs on the balance beam during the artistic gymnastics women's qualification at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
2016 Rio Olympics - Beach Volleyball - Women's Preliminary - Beach Volleyball Arena - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/08/2016. Doaa Elghobashy (EGY) of Egypt and Kira Walkenhorst (GER) of Germany compete. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 08: Lilly King of the United States celebrates winning gold in the Women's 100m Breaststroke Final on Day 3 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 8, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
France's Rudy Gobert, right, fights for a rebound with China's Zhou Qi (15) and Yi Jianlian, rear, during a basketball game at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Aug. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
United States' Katie Ledecky competes in a semifinal of the women's 200-meter freestyle during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Aug. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Norway's Sanna Solberg tries to score past Spain's goalkeeper Darly Zoqbi during the women's preliminary handball match between Spain and Norway at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Aug. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 09: Michael Phelps (L) of the United States leads Chad le Clos of South Africa in the Men's 200m Butterfly Final on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 09: Simone Biles of the United States competes on the balance beam during the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team Final on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Rio Olympic Arena on August 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
Russia's Ekaterina Birlova casts a shadow on the sand as she serves to Poland during a women's beach volleyball match at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Germany's Karin Schnaase stretches during a badminton training session at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 09: Ruolin Chen and Huixia Liu of China compete in the Women's Diving Synchronised 10m Platform Final on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre on August 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 10: Ning Ding of China in action during the Womens Table Tennis Singles Final match against Li Xiaoxia of China at Rio Centro onn August 10, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 10: Axel Augis of France competes on the horizontal bar during the Men's Individual All-Around final on Day 5 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Rio Olympic Arena on August 10, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
Members of team Cuba attempt to block a ball spiked by Iran's H. Milad Ebadipour Ghara during a men's preliminary volleyball match at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
France's Lauren Rembi reacts after losing to Russia in a women's epee team fencing quarterfinal competition at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 14: Linda Cerruti and Costanza Ferro of Italy compete in the Women's Duets Synchronised Swimming Free Routine Preliminary Round on Day 9 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre on August 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 13: Jennifer Oeser of Germany competes in the Women's Heptathlon Long Jump on Day 8 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 13, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 12: Matthew Glaetzer of Australia competes in the Men's Sprint Qualifying on Day 7 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Rio Olympic Velodrome on August 12, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 14: Usain Bolt of Jamaica competes in the Men's 100 meter semifinal on Day 9 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 12: An RS-X athlete is seen on the way back to the marina after the conclusion of racing on Day 7 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Marina da Gloria on August 12, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
United States' Gabrielle Douglas performs on the uneven bars during the artistic gymnastics women's apparatus final at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)
Bahamas' Shaunae Miller, left, beats United States' Allyson Felix, second right, to win the women's 400-meter final during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Aug. 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Athletes compete in a men's 400-meter hurdles semifinal during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Russia's Darya Klishina makes an attempt in the women's long jump qualification during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 17: Silver medalist Nia Ali (L) and gold medalist Brianna Rollins of the United States celebrate after the Women's 100m Hurdles Final on Day 12 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 17, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Canada's Andre De Grasse, left, and Jamaica's Usain Bolt smile at each other in a men's 200-meter semifinal, during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 20: Russia compete during the ribbon rotation 1 in the group all-round qualification round at the at Rio Olympic Arena on August 20, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 19: The riders compete during the Men's semi final 2 on day 14 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic BMX Centre on August 19, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 19: Yauheni Karaliou of Belarus competes during the Diving Men's 10m Platform Preliminary on Day 14 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre on August 19, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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