A coach on Germany's Judo Olympic team came under fire this week for slapping an athlete prior to a match.
Martyna Trajdos was facing off against Hungary's Szofi Ozbas on Tuesday, July 27 when, according to video of the incident shared by NBC's Today, Claudiu Pusa is seen shaking Martyna by the collar and slapping each of her cheeks. Martyna then nods her head and steps into the ring.
In light of the backlash, the International Judo Federation released a statement reprimanding Claudiu for exhibiting what the organization described as "bad behavior."
"The IJF addressed a serious official warning towards the German coach, concerning the bad behaviour he showed during the competition," the message, posted to Twitter on July 28, read. "Judo is an educational sport and as such cannot tolerate such behaviour, which goes against the judo moral code. #respect"
Meanwhile, Martyna is in strict opposition of the IJF's response. She took to social media to explain that her coach's actions are part of a pre-game ritual that helps get her head in the game.
"Look's like this was not hard enough," she jokingly captioned a video of their interaction shared to Instagram. Martyna added, "I wish I could have made a different headline today. As I already said that's the ritual which I chose pre competition! My coach is just doing what I want him to do to fire me up!"
Amid the controversy, Martyna said she was "super disappointed" by her performance at the Tokyo Games following her loss to Szofi.
"I wanted to present the best version of myself, to recompense all the hard work, pain and tears which were put into it," she wrote on Instagram. "After 2016 I was sure I will give everything to qualify again and perform better than in Rio, but I didn't. I don't have any excuses, I'm just very sad and disappointed, those scars will stay."
Martyna will have a chance at Olympic redemption when she competes in the mixed team competition.
Martyna's coach has yet to address the criticism, and her defense of his behavior, publicly.
Continue scrolling for a look back at past Olympic scandals.