Infotainment Factory: Hackett rubbishes Sun comparison from ex-coach

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Thursday, 25 July 2019

Hackett rubbishes Sun comparison from ex-coach


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Legendary Australian Olympic gold medallist Grant Hackett has dismissed comparisons made by his former coach Denis Cotterell to controversial Chinese swimmer Sun Yang.

Sun has come under scrutiny once again at the FINA World Championships in Gwangju after protests from Australia's Mack Horton who has been outspoken against him over the years.

However, Sun's Australian coach, Denis Cotterell, made waves by calling protests against Sun "hypocritical" and claiming he was as clean as Hackett, a statement rubbished by the Australian himself.

"For me, would I probably call myself cleaner than Sun? Absolutely, because I've never, ever failed a drug test in my life and I've had hundreds," Hackett told 2GB Radio.

Grant Hackett Sun Yang

"I've had five drug tests in three days at one point in time at a World Championships and I've never had a singular issue.

My track record in comparison to Sun's is very, very different. I certainly wouldn't compare myself to Sun at any point in time except some of the similar swimming performances that we've had over our careers and that would be about it.

"But I wouldn't make a direct comparison in anything that relates to performance-enhancing drugs or being caught on any sort of suspicious substance in our sport.

"I've never had any of those issues throughout my career."

However, despite hitting out at the comparison made by Cotterell, Hackett said his former coach was extremely against drugs in sport.

"I've known Denis most of my life," he said.

"He coached me from about the age of five till almost the age of 30. I've had a long-standing relationship with Denis and I know how against drugs in sport he is.

"I know if he was privy to anything going on, he would tell the appropriate authorities about it and remove himself from the situation.

"I know that Denis has obviously had a lot to do with Sun over the years and spent a lot of time up in China, and Denis is a very passionate guy and he feels like Sun's doing everything right."

Hackett said he understood the frustration from athletes surrounding Sun's controversial past, and called out the double-standards from doping authorities.

"I just think athletes are frustrated that the system continues to let them down," he said.

"They see the inconsistency and double-standards. The penalties that athletes received.

"We look at Thomas Fraser-Holmes, he missed a drug test, his third one admittedly, just by being home a bit late, then was out of the sport for a year.

"Obviously the issues surrounding Sun, he's received a positive test before, the smashing of the blood vial more recently which was highly suspect, and they see him there competing.

"It's not just towards athletes like Sun that people are necessarily frustrated about, they're frustrated about the system and the doping authorities not doing their jobs more effectively and having consistency across the penalties."

Legendary Australian Olympic gold medallist Grant Hackett has dismissed comparisons made by his former coach Denis Cotterell to controversial Chinese swimmer Sun Yang.

Sun has come under scrutiny once again at the FINA World Championships in Gwangju after protests from Australia's Mack Horton who has been outspoken against him over the years.

However, Sun's Australian coach, Denis Cotterell, made waves by calling protests against Sun "hypocritical" and claiming he was as clean as Hackett, a statement rubbished by the Australian himself.

"For me, would I probably call myself cleaner than Sun? Absolutely, because I've never, ever failed a drug test in my life and I've had hundreds," Hackett told 2GB Radio.

Grant Hackett Sun Yang

"I've had five drug tests in three days at one point in time at a World Championships and I've never had a singular issue.

My track record in comparison to Sun's is very, very different. I certainly wouldn't compare myself to Sun at any point in time except some of the similar swimming performances that we've had over our careers and that would be about it.

"But I wouldn't make a direct comparison in anything that relates to performance-enhancing drugs or being caught on any sort of suspicious substance in our sport.

"I've never had any of those issues throughout my career."

However, despite hitting out at the comparison made by Cotterell, Hackett said his former coach was extremely against drugs in sport.

"I've known Denis most of my life," he said.

"He coached me from about the age of five till almost the age of 30. I've had a long-standing relationship with Denis and I know how against drugs in sport he is.

"I know if he was privy to anything going on, he would tell the appropriate authorities about it and remove himself from the situation.

"I know that Denis has obviously had a lot to do with Sun over the years and spent a lot of time up in China, and Denis is a very passionate guy and he feels like Sun's doing everything right."

Hackett said he understood the frustration from athletes surrounding Sun's controversial past, and called out the double-standards from doping authorities.

"I just think athletes are frustrated that the system continues to let them down," he said.

"They see the inconsistency and double-standards. The penalties that athletes received.

"We look at Thomas Fraser-Holmes, he missed a drug test, his third one admittedly, just by being home a bit late, then was out of the sport for a year.

"Obviously the issues surrounding Sun, he's received a positive test before, the smashing of the blood vial more recently which was highly suspect, and they see him there competing.

"It's not just towards athletes like Sun that people are necessarily frustrated about, they're frustrated about the system and the doping authorities not doing their jobs more effectively and having consistency across the penalties."

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