Chinese swimmer Sun Yang clashes with competitors over doping controversy, netizens react

The 2019 Swimming World Championships has attracted much internet attentions as Chinese athlete Sun Yang fast became one of the hottest topics on the Chinese internet.

In the evening of July 23rd, during the Swimming World Championships 2019 Men’s 200m Freestyle Final Awards Ceremony, British athlete Duncan Scott protested ‘drug cheating’ by refusing to share the podium with the Chinese gold medalist Sun Yang, who served a three-month doping ban in 2014. Sun Yang is also the subject of a court of Arbitration for Sport case over a smashed vial during a drug test last September. This is the second time a swimmer protested Sun Yang after Australia swimmer Mack Horton protested towards him on Sunday.

This time the 27 years old Chinese Olympic and world-record-holding swimmer couldn’t keep silent anymore. After taking pictures and sharing the podium with the rest of the athletes Sun released his frustration towards Scott by using hand gestures and yelling: “You are loser! I win!”

Both Horton and Scott were warned by the governing body FINA for their action. Sun also received a warning from FINA for his outburst at the Worlds in Gwangju, South Korea. FINA also sent a warning to Australian Officials over the protest. “While FINA respects the principle of freedom of speech, it has to be conducted in the right context,” it said, adding that athletes should not “use FINA events to make personal statements or gestures”.

During an interview on 21st, Sun Yang said: “Horton wishes to affect my performance by his rude action, but I will make sure to give my all to all my matches. You can protest against me, but the ceremony is sacred, when you get on the stage you should respect my country.” The unofficial protest action against Chinese athlete Sun Yang soon became viral on many Chinese social media platforms, and Sun Yang gained many supports from his fans.

Comments made by Chinese netizens (translated):


I think Sun Yang did the right thing.


I like Sun Yang, but it is such a childish behavior for him to raise his fist and said what he said. It is understandable, but I think he could have handled it better. The way he reacted could be used by other medias to create negative images. In my opinion he shouldn’t even care, because he has such a strong country to back him up.


Warned and so what? King is still and will always be King.


Am I the only one felt that Horton looks like kneeling in the picture?


Why warn Sun Yang? They were at fault first for being disrespectful, we didn’t event touch them.

Sun Yang said it, they were trying to affect him psychologically so he would react irrationally, and Sun failed to keep his calm.


Like a man! I support you Sun Yang!


It is lonely when you are on top.


Do remember, if a dog bites you, don’t bite back, otherwise people will think you don’t have any manners.


You are always our champion, others can act all they want, you needn’t to care those who can’t stomach failure.


It is ok if they don’t want to share the podium with you, don’t mind them and keep up the good work … keep calm and let them be


Seems like Sun Yang was very offended, but understandable. No matter how good your personality is you will probably be angry at this point. Can’t they just get awarded normally?


Not worth it, you have lost your cool man.

Zhilin He

Written by Zhilin He

Hi, I am Zhilin from China. I am a freelance content creator, translator, travel consultant and fashion designer. I enjoy anything creative and I'd love to share all the interesting aspects of China with you.

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