Infotainment Factory: US, China's furious reaction to Horton-Sun

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Tuesday, 23 July 2019

US, China's furious reaction to Horton-Sun


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Mack Horton was forced into a protest against "drug cheat" Sun Yang due to FINA's unparalleled ineptitude and the Australian swimmer's courageous movement threatens to become colossal.

That is the view of major media in the US and UK, after Horton refused to shake hands, take the podium or pose in photographs with Sun at the FINA world championships.

Horton's protest was backed up by British swimmer Duncan Scott, prompting a furious response from Sun, who called his defiant rival a "loser".

China has been angered by the protests, while many leading swimmers have voiced support for Horton's initiative. Global media, too, have marked Horton's stand as a tipping point in the treatment of dopers; at least by their peers.

Writing for USA Today, Nancy Armour declared that: "Clean athletes are done playing nice when it comes to doping."

"The cauldron in Pyeongchang a year ago was still warm when the IOC made the spineless decision to lift its ban on Russia for a systemic doping program, despite clear evidence that Russia was still thumbing its nose at the quaint notions of clean sport and fair play," Armour wrote.

"As for FINA, it seems to go out of its way to give second, third and 40th chances to those accused or suspected of doping.

"Clean athletes are tired of waiting for the IOC and the guardians of their sport to do what's right. The protests at the world championships might seem like a small measure but, make no mistake, the rebellion has begun."

Writing for the UK Telegraph, Daniel Schofield lauded Horton's courage and branded FINA perhaps "the world’s most inept sporting organisation". He said it beggared belief that Sun was allowed to compete when he is facing a potential life ban in September, when he faces the Court of Arbitration for Sport to answer charges that he smashed a vial of his blood during a doping control.

"It speaks volumes about the efficacy of sports authorities’ fight against drugs that athletes such as Horton feel that it is incumbent upon them to take on the dopers themselves. When Horton returned to the athletes’ village, he received a standing ovation," Schofield wrote.

"The easy thing for Horton to do would have been to grit his teeth while happily gurning and smiling for the cameras with his arm around Sun’s shoulder. He knew what was coming his way after the last firestorm in 2016 and he still went through with his protest that will provide an indelible asterisk on Sun’s gold.

"With Scott imitating Horton’s action, this feels like swimming’s 'I am Spartacus' moment in the fight to clean up the sport."

Chinese media, by contrast, has reacted furiously to Horton's stance against Sun.

Writing for China Daily, Zhang Zhouxiang declared that Horton's "moves are rather rude and lack the most basic manners".

"When Horton shows contempt for his competitor, he is looking down upon himself," Zhang wrote.

"Not joining Sun on the podium was not a protest, but an insult. More importantly, it is an insult not only to Sun personally. It is disrespectful to all the other athletes in the competition and undermines the sporting spirit because Horton openly challenged the result.

"It is to be hoped that Horton recognises his own fault and corrects his wrongdoings to avoid making things worse."

A newspaper in Sun's hometown of Hangzhou declared that: "Horton not only lost the game but also lost his mind and dignity."

Chinese state television broadcaster CCTV posted on social media: "Regarding Horton's rudeness, Sun Yang responded with rationality ... A hero has been defamed, and a champion has been questioned. Sun Yang, we firmly believe that a clean hand needs no washing."

Many swimmers are speaking out against Sun - most notably South African Olympic gold medallist Chad Le Clos, who was beaten to gold in the 200m freestyle at Rio 2016 by the Chinese megastar. Le Clos told AFP that he wanted that gold medal.

"It's good that people are taking a stand," Le Clos said in Gwangju, the South Korean cenue of the ongoing FINA world championships.

"I want my gold medal back from Rio and (fourth-placed) James Guy should get his bronze, because it shouldn't be allowed to have people cheating in sport."

https://twitter.com/MarkFosterSwim/status/1153655779515392001

Writing for the Washington Post, Rick Maese said that Sun's controversial standing in swimming would ultimately be decided by a courtroom, but his presence in Gwangju had damaged FINA's credibility among clean competitors.

"There are 1,200 swimmers competing here but none as controversial as Sun," Maese wrote.

"FINA’s decision to allow Sun to compete hasn’t inspired confidence across the pool deck. 

"The issues aren’t new and aren’t limited to swimming. Even as they loom in the background of most major meets, the clock isn’t swayed by the whispers and rumours around the pool deck. Sun will post his times and win his medals, and CAS probably will have the final say on the matter. Everyone else competing at the world championships will try to focus on posting the best times they can."

Mack Horton was forced into a protest against "drug cheat" Sun Yang due to FINA's unparalleled ineptitude and the Australian swimmer's courageous movement threatens to become colossal.

That is the view of major media in the US and UK, after Horton refused to shake hands, take the podium or pose in photographs with Sun at the FINA world championships.

Horton's protest was backed up by British swimmer Duncan Scott, prompting a furious response from Sun, who called his defiant rival a "loser".

China has been angered by the protests, while many leading swimmers have voiced support for Horton's initiative. Global media, too, have marked Horton's stand as a tipping point in the treatment of dopers; at least by their peers.

Writing for USA Today, Nancy Armour declared that: "Clean athletes are done playing nice when it comes to doping."

"The cauldron in Pyeongchang a year ago was still warm when the IOC made the spineless decision to lift its ban on Russia for a systemic doping program, despite clear evidence that Russia was still thumbing its nose at the quaint notions of clean sport and fair play," Armour wrote.

"As for FINA, it seems to go out of its way to give second, third and 40th chances to those accused or suspected of doping.

"Clean athletes are tired of waiting for the IOC and the guardians of their sport to do what's right. The protests at the world championships might seem like a small measure but, make no mistake, the rebellion has begun."

Writing for the UK Telegraph, Daniel Schofield lauded Horton's courage and branded FINA perhaps "the world’s most inept sporting organisation". He said it beggared belief that Sun was allowed to compete when he is facing a potential life ban in September, when he faces the Court of Arbitration for Sport to answer charges that he smashed a vial of his blood during a doping control.

"It speaks volumes about the efficacy of sports authorities’ fight against drugs that athletes such as Horton feel that it is incumbent upon them to take on the dopers themselves. When Horton returned to the athletes’ village, he received a standing ovation," Schofield wrote.

"The easy thing for Horton to do would have been to grit his teeth while happily gurning and smiling for the cameras with his arm around Sun’s shoulder. He knew what was coming his way after the last firestorm in 2016 and he still went through with his protest that will provide an indelible asterisk on Sun’s gold.

"With Scott imitating Horton’s action, this feels like swimming’s 'I am Spartacus' moment in the fight to clean up the sport."

Chinese media, by contrast, has reacted furiously to Horton's stance against Sun.

Writing for China Daily, Zhang Zhouxiang declared that Horton's "moves are rather rude and lack the most basic manners".

"When Horton shows contempt for his competitor, he is looking down upon himself," Zhang wrote.

"Not joining Sun on the podium was not a protest, but an insult. More importantly, it is an insult not only to Sun personally. It is disrespectful to all the other athletes in the competition and undermines the sporting spirit because Horton openly challenged the result.

"It is to be hoped that Horton recognises his own fault and corrects his wrongdoings to avoid making things worse."

A newspaper in Sun's hometown of Hangzhou declared that: "Horton not only lost the game but also lost his mind and dignity."

Chinese state television broadcaster CCTV posted on social media: "Regarding Horton's rudeness, Sun Yang responded with rationality ... A hero has been defamed, and a champion has been questioned. Sun Yang, we firmly believe that a clean hand needs no washing."

Many swimmers are speaking out against Sun - most notably South African Olympic gold medallist Chad Le Clos, who was beaten to gold in the 200m freestyle at Rio 2016 by the Chinese megastar. Le Clos told AFP that he wanted that gold medal.

"It's good that people are taking a stand," Le Clos said in Gwangju, the South Korean cenue of the ongoing FINA world championships.

"I want my gold medal back from Rio and (fourth-placed) James Guy should get his bronze, because it shouldn't be allowed to have people cheating in sport."

https://twitter.com/MarkFosterSwim/status/1153655779515392001

Writing for the Washington Post, Rick Maese said that Sun's controversial standing in swimming would ultimately be decided by a courtroom, but his presence in Gwangju had damaged FINA's credibility among clean competitors.

"There are 1,200 swimmers competing here but none as controversial as Sun," Maese wrote.

"FINA’s decision to allow Sun to compete hasn’t inspired confidence across the pool deck. 

"The issues aren’t new and aren’t limited to swimming. Even as they loom in the background of most major meets, the clock isn’t swayed by the whispers and rumours around the pool deck. Sun will post his times and win his medals, and CAS probably will have the final say on the matter. Everyone else competing at the world championships will try to focus on posting the best times they can."

https://ift.tt/311LwDV
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