Olympics-Swimming-Chinese pour scorn on Horton after "drug cheats" remarks
By Brenda Goh
RIO DE JANEIRO Aug 7 (Reuters) - Chinese web-users unleashed their fury on the social media accounts of Australian Olympic gold medallist Mack Horton, demanding he apologise for calling swimming rival Sun Yang a "drug cheat".
The controversy clouded Horton's Saturday triumph in the 400 metres freestyle final over Sun, the London 2012 defending champion, with the latter suggesting Horton had made the remarks to affect him. Sun won the silver medal.
"You have offended against the sensitive (feelings) of the Chinese people," said one of more than 300,000 comments left on Horton's latest Instagram post of him celebrating his win on the medal podium.
"Apologise to Sun Yang!", said another on Horton's Facebook page that was peppered with insults, derogatory pictures, many of which carried the hashtag "#apologisetosunyang".
Many of the comments recalled a 2013 incident when the Australian men's freestyle relay team were suspended for using a sedative banned by their national Olympic committee (AOC) in a bonding session before the London Games.
The 20-year-old Australian had acknowledged after their final that there were tensions between him and Sun after a splashing incident during a recent practice.
"I used the words 'drug cheat' because he tested positive," he said.
A spokesman for the AOC said Horton was entitled to express his point of view. Continuación...