The most compelling drama in elite swimming became more intense overnight as controversial Chinese swimmer Sun Yang chastised British competitor Duncan Scott for protesting his latest win at the world championships in South Korea.
The incident comes just days after Australian swimmer Mack Horton refused to share a podium with the man he previously accused of being a “drug cheat”.
ABC reports the Brit, who came joint third in last night’s 200m freestyle final after the shock disqualification of Lithuanian first-place finisher Danas Rapsys, refused to shake Sun’s hand.
Scott also distanced himself from the gold medallist during photos taken on the podium.
Footage taken in the moments after the medal ceremony shows Sun chewing out his competitor.
“You’re a loser, I’m a winner, yes?” Sun said.
Sun Yang gets in bronze medalist Duncan Scott’s face after the 200m freestyle medal ceremony (Sun won gold after Lithuanian Danas Rapsys was DQed for a false start). Scott and Sun did not appear to shake hands, and Sun shouted in Scott’s direction earlier in the ceremony. pic.twitter.com/0ilhiSorqt
— Nick Zaccardi (@nzaccardi) July 23, 2019
It’s the swimming world’s latest show of anger against Sun, who served a three-month ban in 2014 for blood doping but is still permitted to compete at the highest levels of the sport.
Sun faces newer accusations of foul play, too. Last year, FINA decided not to ban Sun after the swimmer allegedly destroyed a blood sample after an official test.
The World Anti-Doping Agency is planning to appeal FINA’s decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in September, potentially opening Sun up to further sanctions.
As it stands, FINA has sent warning letters to Sun and Horton over their podium incident, meaning Scott will likely face some kind of stern talking-to in the near future. Don’t expect that to stop the protests, though.