Duncan Scott and Sun Yang haven’t been pals for a while now, but what happened yesterday after the 200m freestyle at the world championships in Gwangju, South Korea, was pretty ugly to watch.
Controversial Chinese swimmer Sun Yang secured the gold medal after Lithuanian Danas Rapsys was disqualified for a false start, and Scott shared the bronze with Russian Martin Malyutin, with the two finishing in an identical time.
Yang is currently competing despite the fact that the court of arbitration for sport are preparing to hear a doping case against him in September, and Scott has been very outspoken about how he feels the Chinese swimmer is a cheat.
It all became rather ugly when Scott congratulated Malyutin and silver medallist Katsuhiro Matsumoto of Japan, but refused to acknowledge Yang.
The gold medallist first celebrated wildly in Scott’s direction, before calling him a loser:
Not really a great look for the sport, and Scott isn’t alone in his condemnation of Yang. Below from the Guardian:
Adam Peaty has backed the decision by the British bronze medallist Duncan Scott to snub Sun Yang…
Scott declined to elaborate on his actions to reporters but Peaty said his teammate was “completely right” to take action, adding that Sun should consider his place in swimming.
“He should be asking himself now should he really be in sport when the people were booing him, but I know how they are and I know how he is so …”
Peaty, who has previously criticised Sun and the decision to allow him to compete in Gwangju with the doping case hanging over him, said athletes had a right to speak out. “I think the most important thing as a sportsperson is you have the right to a voice and Duncan showed his voice and so did the crowd,” he said. “If the fans aren’t wanting him [Sun] I don’t even know why he’s here.”
The incident comes two days after the Australian Mack Horton refused to share the podium with Sun after the 400m.
Here’s footage of Horton refusing to step onto the podium alongside Yang:
Clearly, many athletes are in favour of actions of those of Horton and Scott, with American breaststroke champion Lilly King revealing that Horton was greeted with applause from fellow competitors when he returned to the athlete’s village after his podium antics.
The charges of doping against Yang aren’t just the run of the mill stuff, either:
Sun, who served a doping ban in 2014 and was labelled a “drug cheat” by Horton before the Rio Olympics final, got the green light to compete in Gwangju after being cleared by a Fina panel of breaching the governing body’s rules earlier this year.
…a Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing in September may end the Chinese star’s career. The 10-time world champion has been accused of smashing vials of his blood with a hammer during a clash last year with testers and faces a lifetime ban if found guilty.
There’s taking something that you didn’t know contravened the doping laws, there’s taking something you did know contravened the doping laws, and then there’s smashing vials of blood with a hammer.
Whatever the case, these aren’t the kinds of scenes you want to see at the sport’s premier events.
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