‘Balance’ needed in Sun doping row: swim king Dressel
July 24 2019 11:16 PM
China’s Sun Yang
China’s Sun Yang speaks to media at the final of the men’s 800m freestyle at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, yesterday. (AFP)

Agencies/Gwangju, South Korea

American swimmer Caeleb Dressel has called for cool heads at the world championships after athletes protested against China’s Sun Yang over shocking allegations the triple Olympic champion had destroyed dope test samples with a hammer.
Sun retained his 200 and 400 metres freestyle titles in Gwangju but his celebrations were soured when Australian rival Mack Horton and Briton Duncan Scott refused to shake his hand in separate podium snubs that left Sun furious.
Several swimmers, including Olympic champions Adam Peaty and Lilly King, have come out in support of Horton, beaten by Sun in the 400m final, and 200m bronze medallist Scott.
But Dressel yesterday sought to defuse a volatile situation, which had threatened to spiral out of control on Tuesday night when Sun angrily confronted Scott after the medals ceremony.
“One thing I learned from my older brothers is there’s two sides to everything,” said Dressel, who swept seven world titles in 2017.
“I understand why the Chinese fans could be upset — and I also understand where Duncan and Mack are coming from,” he added.
“But it’s a competitive sport and I think they should have the right to voice what they believe in. Kudos to them for doing that — and the Chinese are doing it back.”
Horton was labelled a “clown” by China’s state-run media for refusing to step up to the podium after taking silver in the 400m while online trolls posted death threats on the Australian’s social media accounts.
“The Chinese are upset because people are protesting,” said Dressel. “It goes both ways.”

‘You loser!’
Horton and Scott were both given official rebukes by swimming’s governing body FINA — as was Sun, who squared up to Scott and jabbed a finger in his face, barking: “You loser, I win!”
Peaty reiterated his support for Horton and Scott after retaining his 50m breaststroke title yesterday.
“It’s free speech — and I don’t think anyone should get a warning for free speech,” said the seven-time world champion.
“Those dopers shouldn’t be in the sport, there shouldn’t be any doping in sport,” added the 24-year-old.
“They just need to grow up or just stop doping really. But obviously it’s going to be an uphill battle for athletes to get their rights and race clean athletes as well.”
The bad blood between Horton and Sun dates back to the 2016 Rio Olympics where the Aussie called him a “drug cheat” over a prior three-month ban.
China’s sporting idol has always argued that he took prescribed medication for a heart problem, while Chinese doping officials are believed to have failed to update their therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) list for athletes.
His latest brush with controversy comes after a leaked FINA doping panel report claimed Sun allowed blood vials to be smashed with a hammer after testers visited him last year.
“They’re truly the most courageous guys and I couldn’t be more proud of them,” said Horton’s countryman Mitch Larkin.
“They’re standing for what they believe in and that’s clean sport. If we didn’t believe that we wouldn’t be racing here today.”

FINA need to crack down on Sun: Fraser
Australian swimming great Dawn Fraser has said, Sun is a “drug cheat” who should not be competing at the world championships and governing body FINA need to “get off their backsides” to protect clean athletes, 
Fraser, who won the 100m freestyle at three different Olympics from 1956-64, told reporters in Sydney that FINA should never have allowed Sun to compete at Gwangju.
“I personally don’t think he should be swimming,” she said yesterday. “He’s got a Court of Arbitration in September and I feel that FINA should have stepped him down until that court case is over.
“If he’s proven not guilty, well that’s fine, he can go back to swimming.
“I mean we go back to East Germany when all those German swimmers were caught with drugs. We want a clean sport and let’s protest against it. FINA got to get off their backsides and do something about it.”
Fraser defended Horton for making his stand.
“Mack didn’t say anything. He hasn’t made any comment, he just didn’t get on the podium to be with a drug cheat, and I support that,” she said, calling for WADA and FINA to “do their job”.
“At the moment, both of those (bodies) are fighting one another and WADA said he shouldn’t be swimming.
“They should have the right to stop anyone taking drugs from swimming or competing in any sort of sport.
“We’ve been fighting for a clean sport for quite a number of years, its still hasn’t taken place. There’s still drug cheats out there and we want them banished.”

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