TUNIS, Tunisia, August 14. REPORTS out of Tunisia state that Tunisian Olympic gold medalist Ous Mellouli has been the target of a Facebook campaign by extremist group Ansar al Chariaa.
The group is claiming that Mellouli violated tenants of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan by “drinking juice before racing.” Mellouli captured the gold medal in the open water 10K and earned bronze in the men's 1500-meter freestyle.
The report, by the Associated Press, also states that Islamic radicals are calling for the Tunisian government to strip Habiba Ghribi of her silver medal in the 3000-meter steeplchase, the first Olympic medal for a Tunisian woman, “because her running gear was too revealing.”
Swimming World received this exclusive statement from Mellouli from Tunisia:
“To be honest, this was totally unexpected and not to be taken lightly. Both myself and my family are concerned for my safety as we are living in a changing society here in Tunisia. I have been welcomed home as a conquering hero and I am overwhelmed with the support that I have witnessed here in the last couple of days. I am well and celebrating cautiously among friends and family my success in London. I have been reassured by the minister of Tunisian sports who is working closely with the local authorities to ensure my safety and my family's safety during my stay here in Tunis. Much love and blessings to all.”