FINA warns swimmers for ‘inadequate behavior’
FINA issued a statement Wednesday reprimanding Sun Yang of China and Duncan Scott of Britain during the FINA World Championships in Gwangju.
After the medal ceremony for the men’s 200 meter freestyle on Tuesday, Scott, a co-bronze medalist, refused to stand on the podium next to Sun, who won the gold, for photos. It was in apparent protest to Sun’s presence in the competition, despite allegations of doping rule violations.
Sun is accused of having destroyed vials of a blood sample from a test last year and could face a lifetime ban if found guilty. FINA still cleared him to compete in Gwangju, but the World Anti-Doping Agency has appealed that decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
And before the medalists exited the stage for the medal ceremony, Scott shunned Sun’s gesture for a handshake, and instead congratulated other medalists. Sun reportedly screamed at Scott, “You lose, I win!”
“Both competitors had an inadequate behavior on this occasion,” FINA said in a statement. “The FINA Executive […] has decided to send a warning letter to athletes Duncan Scott and Sun Yang.”
After the medalists came down from the podium and reached the pool deck for more photos, Scott walked past the other medalists without stopping. He drew cheers from the stands for his action.
Scott’s podium protest came two days after Australian Mack Horton, who got silver behind Sun in the men’s 400 meter freestyle, also stayed off the podium for photo-ops after the medal ceremony.
Horton reportedly received thunderous cheers from fellow swimmers at the athletes’ cafeteria afterward, but Horton too was warned for his action by FINA.
Sun will compete in his final event later Wednesday, the men’s 800 meter freestyle final.
After his 200 meter individual medley heats Wednesday morning, Scott said, “I don’t have a clue” about FINA’s decision because he’d just completed his race.
He was initially scheduled to compete in heats for both the 100 meter freestyle heats and the 200 meter individual medley. When asked about his decision to do so, Scott momentarily mistook the question and thought he was being asked about his podium protest.
Scott responded, “I’ve made my statement [with my action].”
Australian swimmer Mitch Larkin chimed in with his two cents, commending his teammate Horton and Scott for “standing up” to show FINA that athletes believe in clean sports.
“We want to ensure that every opportunity is taken to ensure it’s clean,” Larkin said. “That’s why we’re here to race. If we didn’t want a clean sport, we wouldn’t be here every day racing.”