The were long faces at the Olympic Grimacing Association HQ as reports emerged of athletes in the sport getting "special training" from drama schools and acting coaches.
"The events should be about emotional integrity," said OGA official Mike Chambers, "these should be faces of true sporting effort and concentration, of intensity and sheer hard work. They express determination, pain, the gathering together of an athlete's last iota of energy and the eternal fight with exhaustion. If athletes are not playing by the rules, by learning to make these faces without the athletic effort and commitment involved, then it's a grim day for grimacing.
Suspicions were aroused when Ukrainian-born weight lifter and top face-puller Milos Sprcz was regularly seen going into London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, having shown no interest in theatre arts since a disappointing "F" in his GCSE Drama in 2002. At first he said he was attending RADA "for the cake" but later was seen with Shakespearian face coach Celia Smythe. Dr Smythe occupies the UCL Frankie Howard chair of Pouting and is orgasm consultant to the RSC.
Sprcz, known for his powerlifting prowess and his ability to make faces of surprise, agony, grit, fear and triumph in the space of 0.67 seconds can also produce sweat and tears and other emotional fluids at will, according to those who have shared a changing room with him. He memorably bit his own lip off in the European Games in 2007, earning a gold and worldwide fame in the sporting and medical worlds.
"If Sprcz is faking, there will be some worried looks in the Olympic Village" said the OGA's Mike Chambers. "Some people already look down their noses at the facial events. If the contagion has spread to happy synchronised swimming expressions, we're sunk. It's a pity because the Wimbledon grunting events are really taking off"
Sprcz's trainer James Darwin remains tight-lipped about the allegations. He told reporters "Mmmm. Mm mmm mmmm mm."
Elsewhere, officials have denied an outbreak of football at the diving events.