Assie swimmer Stephanie Rice denied having an affair with basketball star Kobe Bryant, a married man and father of two children.
"FYI yes Kobe and I are friends, but no we are not together and never have been," Stephanie posted on her Twitter page.
Australia's Stephanie Rice smiles after finishing in third place in heat 5 of the women's 200m individual medley event at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre.
"Can't guys and girls be just friends..? He's an amazing athlete and I've enjoyed getting to know him and many other great athletes in my Olympic journey."
The 24-year old swimmer found herself in the middle of the rumors when she sat beside the 33-yeard old American sports star. She was immediately chastised by her detractors for her rumored "fling" with Kobe, whom she met back in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Opals basketball player Liz Cambridge made an implied swipe on Rice, in a Twitter.
"I love how Kobe has his wife with him at the Olympics, yet still surrounded by groupies!!!" wrote Cambridge.
"Some women need to get a grip, ASAP!"
Cambridge refused to comment on whether she was referring to Rice, stating in a latter tweet that she had never named anyone.
Now, Rice's reputation is fast becoming a hot subject. Will she be remembered as a party girl or an Olympic swimmer? This rumored "fling" with Kobe certainly does not help her.
"Bryant is married and has two daughters, but has been estranged from his wife amid rumours of infidelity. This makes him a risky pal for an attractive single girl - particularly one who's known in the overseas tabloids as the stripper pole swimmer from Down Under," wrote Susie O'Brien at the Herald Sun.
Stephanie Rice' lack of success in the 2012 London Olympics appears to make it difficult to let her behavior in the Games go without comment.
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