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  • Aussie Warned Over Swimming Protest


    07/22/19

    (ATR) Swimmer Mack Horton receives a written warning that his podium protest this weekend at the world championships breaks FINA rules.

    Mack Horton, 400m silver medalist, stood behind the podium during the medal ceremony.
    Horton, silver medalist in the 400m freestyle race this weekend in Gwangju, would not stand on the podium during the medal ceremony. The target of the protest was gold medalist Sun Yang of China. Sun, convicted of a doping offense in 2014, now waits for a ruling from the Court for Arbitration of Sport in another case.

    Last year Sun allegedly smashed a glass vessel containing a blood sample drawn by drug testers. Sun and his entourage have said the testers were not properly accredited. While the case is being adjudicated, FINA has cleared Sun to compete in Gwangju.

    FINA says it warned Horton and Swimming Australia “not use FINA events to make personal statements or gestures”.

    “While FINA respects the principle of freedom of speech, it has to be conducted in the right context.
    “As in all major sports organisations, our athletes and their entourages are aware of their responsibilities to respect FINA regulations and not use FINA events to make personal statements or gestures.

    “The matter over which Mack Horton was allegedly protesting is currently under review by CAS and therefore it is not appropriate for FINA to prejudice this hearing by commenting further,” says a statement from FINA.

    Horton, gold medalist at the 2016 Olympics, has kept his comments in check following the protest.

    "Frustration is probably it. I think you know in what respect,” he told reporters.

    "I don't think I need to say anything. His actions and how it has been handled speaks louder than anything I could say."

    Sun Yang in the pool in Gwangju.
    Horton and Sun could race again this Wednesday in the 800m final,

    Sun said he was personally not bothered by Horton’s protest as much as what he views as the Australian disrespecting China.

    Sun faces a hearing in September of an appeal by WADA of the incident involving the smashed drug testing vials.

    Reported by Ed Hula. For general comments or questions, click here.
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