OLYMPIC gold medals from the Tokyo 2020 games are already PEELING OFF, according to one athlete.
Zhu Xueying, a 23-year-old Chinese gymnast, won gold in the Women's individual event.
But less than a month on she has reported signs of her medal peeling, sharing photos on social media site Weibo to prove her point.
One side of the medal, which displays Greek monuments and statues, shows signs of wear and tear on the upper left side.
Zhu said she initially thought that the smudge was just dirt but the spot began to grow.
Alongside the photos she posted a caption which read: "Can your medal… peel off like this."
Also, she told the Global Times: "Let me clarify this… I didn't mean to peel the thing off at first, I just discovered that there was a small mark (like pic one) on my medal.
"I thought that it was probably just dirt, so I rubbed it with my finger and found that nothing changed, so then I picked at it and the mark got bigger."
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The post quickly went viral with almost 20,000 comments, provoking a reaction from the International Olympic Committee.
They responded by saying: "Even if you remove the coating, it does not directly affect the medals' quality."
But the Tokyo Organising Committee could still launch an investigation, even though manufacturer Japan Mint claimed it had not encountered any problems with peeling.
Team GB's Tom Daley may have had the right idea when he knitted a small pouch to protect his diving gold.
And if Xueying is unhappy with the state of her medal, it is possible to order a replacement – the IOC keeps molds of all the Olympic medal designs and can produce replacements for a fee.
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