SHANGHAI, July 30 — Chinese state media hit out at Australia’s swimmers after Shayna Jack failed a drugs test, accusing the team of “utter hypocrisy” following anti-doping protests targeting China’s Sun Yang.
Australia’s Mack Horton snubbed Sun on the podium at the world championships in South Korea, in protest at a drug-testing incident involving the triple Olympic champion where vials of blood were smashed with a hammer.
Xinhua, the Chinese news agency, did not hold back in its criticism after it transpired that Horton’s team-mate Jack, 20, tested positive for Ligandrol, which helps build muscle mass.
A strongly worded English commentary also accused Swimming Australia of a “cover-up” after Jack returned home days before the championships in Gwangju, citing “personal reasons”.
“By lying to the public regarding the Jack case, Swimming Australia has lost every ounce of credibility in its defence of Mack Horton’s podium stunt aimed at Sun Yang,” the commentary said.
“Swimming Australia is not interested in due process, nor is it interested in protecting clean sport,” it added.
Horton received an ovation from fellow swimmers at the athletes’ dining hall for his protest, which was echoed by Britain’s Duncan Scott. Sun, who served a suspension in 2014, has always denied doping.
Xinhua accused Horton, 23, of “selective outrage” and being an “opportunist”, intent only on getting one over an opponent.
“He should stop pretending that protecting clean sport is his intention. Horton is fooling nobody,” Xinhua said.
Many similar opinions were voiced on Chinese social media.
“Those who call others liars are in truth the liars themselves,” was one typical post on the Twitter-like Weibo.
Sun was cleared by swimming’s governing body FINA to compete in South Korea despite the murky case last year of the smashed vials.
FINA agreed with Sun that testers had failed to produce adequate identification or follow correct protocol. However, the World Anti-Doping Agency has since taken the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. — AFP