The pair have an extended, bitter rivalry.
Earlier than the 400m freestyle race on the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Horton stated his rival was a “drug cheat
After the race, Horton described his win as “one for the great guys.” Solar broke down in tears
surrounded by Chinese language media after his defeat, whereas the Chinese language swim crew supervisor Xu Qi demanded an apology
Australia’s chef de mission Kitty Chiller stated Horton had each proper to specific his views — and the crew had no intention of creating an apology.
2016 feedback went viral in China, the place many believed he had intentionally tried to psych out Solar. Horton’s Instagram web page was bombarded with derogatory messages, and an op-ed
printed by the nationalistic tabloid World Instances described Australia as a rustic “on the fringes of civilization” and referred to its historical past as “Britain’s offshore jail.”
Taking a stand or disrespecting China?
As soon as once more, Horton’s Instagram posts have turn out to be the goal of pro-China customers, who left comments
akin to “You do not need to shake Solar’s hand” and “You’ll lose eternally.”
The difficulty was additionally one of many high trending subjects on Chinese language microblogging website Weibo on Monday — though Chinese language media didn’t point out the medication context, and used an image that made it seem that Horton was kneeling at Solar’s aspect.
“Horton is a person with a small coronary heart,” wrote one individual on Weibo. “Being this dramatic due to his dangerous efficiency — Solar Yang ought to steer clear of this type of poisonous garbage,” stated one other.
The response was very completely different in Australia, the place fellow swimmers praised Horton’s stance.
In an Instagram story, Australian Olympic medal-winning swimmer Cat Campbell referred to as Horton a “legend.” “Taking a stand for clear sport,” she captioned
a photograph of Horton standing to the aspect of the rostrum. “Mack Horton, we salute you.”
David McKeon, one other Australian Olympian, tweeted
: “Completely superior to see Mack Horton protesting clear sport by not getting up on the rostrum subsequent to Solar Yang.”
CNN has contacted the game’s nationwide governing physique, Swimming Australia, and worldwide federation, FINA, for remark however has not but obtained a response.
Solar isn’t the primary Chinese language swimmer to be accused of doping. In 2012, then 16-year-old swimmer Ye Shiwen received gold on the Olympics and set a brand new world document, prompting allegations of doping
. Worldwide Olympics Committee spokesman Mark Adams referred to as doping allegations in opposition to Ye “unhappy” and “pure rumor.”
On the time, the pinnacle of China’s swimming crew, Xu Qi, famous that related allegations hadn’t dogged different high swimmers in recent times.
“Ian Thorpe was referred to as a genius, Michael Phelps obtained eight gold medals in Beijing. Ryan Lochte, Missy Franklin are each acknowledged as geniuses. There have been geniuses in France and South Africa. We admit and settle for these geniuses, however why cannot a genius come from China, a rustic with a big inhabitants?”
CNN’s Nanlin Fang contributed to this report.