Horton Defends Words While Chinese Swim Team Demands Apology

The contentious rivalry between Australian distance ace Mack Horton and Chinese Olympian Sun Yang continues to boil after the two met head-to-head last night in Rio.

In the pool, Horton snatched up the men’s 400m freestyle victory, out-touching Sun by just .13 of a second to take the gold. Out of the pool, during his post-race press conference, however, Horton was grilled about his ‘drug cheat’ comment. 

“I used the words drug cheat because he tested positive,” said Horton.  “I just have a problem with athletes who have tested positive and are still competing.”

Drug cheat was the phrase Horton used to describe Sun Yang as a result of the wam-up pool incident. Sun was reportedly trying to taunt Horton in the warm-up pool before the swim events kicked off. Of the incident, Horton told the media, “He just kind of splashed me but I ignored him because I don’t have time or respect for drug cheats. He wasn’t too happy about that so he kept splashing me. I just got in and did my thing,”

As for Sun Yang’s response to the charged words of ‘drug cheat’, the Chinese freestyle specialist said, “I am clean. I think every single athlete who is able to compete at the Olympic Games deserves respect. It is unnecessary to disturb an opponent with such little tricks.”

The Chinese swim team is also on board with Sun’s defensive stance, demanding an apology for the ‘attack’ they say Horton launched. (F. Sports)

“We have been noticing what has been said in the past two days by Horton, who launched a malicious personal attack (on Chinese swimmers),” Chinese swim team manager Xu Qi said.

“We think his inappropriate words greatly hurt the feelings between Chinese and Australian swimmers. It is proof of a lack of good manners and upbringing. We strongly demand an apology from this swimmer.”

Also adding to the drama is that IOC spokesperson Mark Adams says that he will be looking into the situation.

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Zhang Decai
7 years ago

Australian swim team get caught too with drugs. Why Horton complain so much? He hurt the feelings of the Chinese people.

David the Sport Fan
7 years ago

Horton just revealed his low taste of discrimination. 0.13 second is not a lot to be proud of. He can do better for the Australians instead of being loathed of by the world. This behavior will never happen to American athletes who have a lot more respect for their competitors. Olympic is a place to bring honor to one’s country, win or lose. Horton proves to be a loser after all for Australia. Too bad….

Reply to  David the Sport Fan
7 years ago

Lilly King!

7 years ago

Can we all finally realize that the Olympic games are not, and never have been, some sort of unifying geo-political event?

China go home
7 years ago

Perhaps we can apologize for destroying South China Sea reefs, because it hurt the clown fish’s feelings. Drama

7 years ago

What everyone forget is the fact that the drug Yang used was for a heart condition he suffers from! Later on that drug was removed from Wadas ban list. So no, he is NOT a “drug cheat”! Why insulting anyone anyway?!
Especially if somebody has done his sentence and got cleared to compete! “Let the ones with no sin throw the first stone” as a famous peacemaker (Jesus) said.

7 years ago

Mack Horton never mentioned names….he was taunted by Sun Yang and Sun Yang is a sore loser, the better swimmer WON…..GO MACK AND AUSTRALIA !

Tom from Chicago
7 years ago

I completely support MACK HORTON.

Maybe the Chinese “coaches” should be reminded not only did Sun Yang test positive, but it wasn’t that long ago that the entire Chinese swim team was caught sneaking 30+ vials of HGH into Australia (remember the “turtle blood soup” excuse). 6 Chinese tested positive in the last year.

Doping is not a victimless crime. Sun Yang stole a medal from Conor Dwyer. Protect the clean athletes. I can’t believe ALL the damn cheaters were allowed in the Olympics. Some administrators need to changed ASAP. Maybe a new FINA is needed.

Reply to  Tom from Chicago
7 years ago

Wow, wait a minute. You don’t know the drug he took was PED. In fact, it was not and that’s why it’s been off the list since 2015. He tested positive for a chemical that was never proven to enhance performance and he likely didn’t even know he had it. Cheating and stealing involve intent. Where’s the proof of intent? I like how you and others jump to conclusion without any evidence. The bias or even hate on this forum is absurd. I doubt the same people who called Sun drug cheat here hold more grudge against Lance Armstrong, who is by far the most arrogant and cunning drug cheat in the history of any sports.

7 years ago

I have always been told that westerners are very biased on China. Never believed it because every Canadian and American I met in life are so rationale, and open minded, willing to listen before they conclude. This forum changes my view. Ppl here are so biased. Is anyone here has read the investigation report of SunYang before you made your comments? Do you know the drug SunYang took was determined not to have an impact on performance, and no longer banned drug starting 2015. I am not sure if all these biased comments are because it is hard to accept that an Asian can swim faster than westerners. If this is how you are feeling then it is really not… Read more »

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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