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Annalise Murphy among athletes who are returning their Olympic medals

Some of the Olympic medals are rusting, flaking and turning black.

Image: Johnny Bambury/Fennell Photography

AT LEAST 100 Olympic athletes, including Irish sailor Annalise Murphy, have had to send back their medals from the 2016 Rio games to be replaced.

The reported problems with the medals, particularly with the bronze medals, include rusting, flaking and black spots.

A spokesman for the Olympic Games, Mario Andrad, said that 7% of the medals were affected:

“The most common issue is that they were dropped or mishandled and the varnish has come off and they’ve rusted or gone black in the spot where they were damaged.

All 2,488 games were produced by the Brazilian mint, which has agreed to replace any that are returned.

Olympic silver medalist Annalise Murphy’s manager Finn Murphy released a statement to the Ray D’Arcy Show earlier:

“Annalise received an email from the OCI giving her the option to send her silver medal back for re-finishing or to hold on to it. She decided to send it back and dropped it into the OCI a couple of weeks ago.

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“The medal was looking a bit grubby, but we figured that could be down to people passing it around and even biting it! I think the problem was that some of the medals hadn’t been finished properly at the beginning.”

Richard, who looks after Paul and Gary O’Donovan said that he hadn’t heard of any problems with their medals, but would double-check.

Among the stars sending their medals back are beach volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings, and American wrestlers Kyle Snyder and Helen Maroulis.

Read: New OCI president hopes €800,000 spent on Rio ticketing scandal will be ‘investment’

Read: It cost over €12,000 to send Shane Ross to deal with Rio ticket controversy

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