FINA Issues Warning To Swimming Australia Over Mack Horton’s Silent Protest On Sun Yang

Mack Horton – Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr/Swimming Australia Ltd.


FINA has sent a warning letter to Swimming Australia over Mack Horton‘s silent protest against the presence of Sun Yang, of China, yesterday. Sun retained the world title here in Gwangju, with Olympic champion Horton second and Italian Gabriele Detti third.

Horton then decided to make a stand against Sun’s presence at a championship while and anti-doping case against him is pending at the Court of Arbitration. A tentative September date has been set for a hearing into the World Anti-Doping Agency‘s March challenge to a FINA Doping Panel hearing into troubling events that unfolded at an out-of-competition test near Sun’s home last September.

Swimmers have been very vocal in their view that the case should have been dealt with before action started in Gwangju, while CAS revealed to Swimming World last week that no parties to the case, neither Sun’s entourage, FINA nor WADAS had requested an expedited process.

During finals on day 2 in Gwangju, FINA issued the following statement:

The FINA Executive met today in Gwangju (KOR) to analyse the situation related with the men’s 400m free victory ceremony and has decided to send a warning letter to Swimming Australia Ltd and to athlete Mack Horton (AUS).

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.

End of statement.

Sun’s lawyers issued a statement this week to say that the swimmer has requested that CAS hold a public hearing into his case in the interests of transparency.

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