What are these red marks?
These marks are the result of an ancient therapy called ‘Cupping’ in which heated cups are placed on the skin of the athletes and once there is a drop in the temperature, it creates suction to promote blood flow. The implication of this technique is that this suction also pulls the skin away from the body leaving the red marks.
Why are the athletes doing it?
According to some of the athletes, this technique helps them to reduce the pain caused by their continual training and also helps them to recover from their physical ailments faster. The two prominent athletes to sport these marks were the gymnast Alex Naddour and the swimmer Michael Phelps from USA. While many experts consider it to be a placebo effect, the athletes have a differing opinion suggesting that this therapy actually works for them. In an interview with USA Today, the gymnast Alex Naddour was quoted saying,