Other Sports

Podium Drama As Brit And Aussie Protest Against Chinese 'Drug Cheat'

Podium Drama As Brit And Aussie Protest Against Chinese 'Drug Cheat'

It has been during the podium ceremonies rather than in the pool where some of the most headline-catching action has taken place at the World Aquatics Championships in South Korea.

On Tuesday, British swimmer Duncan Scott followed the example set by Australian Mack Horton earlier in the championships by protesting against Sun Yang.

The Chinese swimmer, a triple Olympic champion, served a three-month doping ban in 2014 for using a prohibited stimulant and is now facing a fresh set of allegations. Those include that he smashed vials containing his blood with a hammer during an out of competition test. FINA initially ruled that Sun had not committed a violation but the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) have appealed that decision. He faces a lifetime ban if WADA wins that case.

It was for those reasons that both Scott and Horton have staged protests against Yang.

Scott refused to shake Sun's hand and pose for photos with the 27-year-old during the medal ceremony for the 200m freestyle. Sun won gold after Lithuanian Danas Rapsys was disqualified for moving in his blocks while Scott finished in a dead heat for bronze.

Advertisement

Sun subsequently confronted Scott following the ceremony, appearing to call him a "loser".

"I'm team Mack," Scott told BBC Sport.

"If [Sun] can't respect our sport then why should I respect him? I think a lot of people, everyone in swimming, got behind what Mack did.

"Hopefully this will happen in more events."

Advertisement

On Sunday, Horton refused to take a place on the podium with Sun for the 400m freestyle ceremony.

"I just won't share a podium with someone who has behaved in the way he has," said the Australian silver medallist who has previously called Sun a "drug cheat".

Sun addressed Horton's protest in a press conference, saying "Disrespecting me is OK but disrespecting China was very unfortunate and I felt sorry about that."

FINA subsequently sent a warning to letter to Swimming Australia and Horton, saying in a statement:

"While FINA respects the principle of freedom of speech, it has to be conducted in the right context.

"As in all major sports organisations, our athletes and their entourages are aware of their responsibilities to respect FINA regulations and not use FINA events to make personal statements or gestures."

See Also: How Olympic Dreams Were Crushed For One Of Ireland's Most Exciting Athletes

PJ Browne
Article written by

You may also like