Swimmer Mack Horton Refuses to Share Stage With Rival Sun Yang

China's Sun Yang stormed to 400 metres freestyle gold at the World Swimming Championships on Sunday in Gwangju in South Korea, retaining his title and winning it for a record fourth time.

The controversial triple Olympic champion clocked three minutes, 42.44 seconds in Gwangju with fierce Australian rival Mack Horton taking silver in a repeat of the 2017 result.

But more than event what grabbed headline was how Horton publicly renewed his feud with Sun Yang.

Horton has been accusing Sun for being a "drug cheat" for years and Sun facing fresh allegations of violating doping protocols ahead of the meet fueled the allegations.

During the medal ceremony, Horton refused to share the podium with Sun. Horton, who won Gold at Rio, went on to decline shaking hands with Sun. He didn’t even pose for photos with him but posed happily with Italian bronze medallist Gabriele Detti.

Sun Yang (centre) and Mack Horton’s rivalry dates back to 2016 Rio Olympics.

Earlier in 2014, Sun was suspended for three months after he tested positive for a banned stimulant trimetazidine, which he said he was taking for a heart complaint.

But it was in 2016 in Rio when the duo had a face-off. Horton had accused Sun of deliberately splashing him in a training session, saying: “I ignored him, I don’t have time or respect for drug cheats.” Later, he added: “I just have a problem with athletes who have tested positive and are still competing.”

It was Horton who won gold in Rio but in recent years it has been Sun who has dominated the pool. His win on Sunday is his fourth consecutive world title.

There are claims in a leaked FINA doping panel report that he smashed blood samples with a hammer when testers visited him last year.

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