University of Stirling swimming star Duncan Scott has received praise following an incident that took place on the podium at Tuesday’s men’s 200m freestyle at the World Aquatic Championships in Gwangju, South Korea.
It comes after Scott (who was the bronze medallist) refused to shake hands with gold medallist Sun Yang, who won the 200m due to Lithuania’s Danas Rapsys being disqualified for a false start. Scott also refused to take part in the group photo at the end of the medal ceremony, and kept his distance from Sun as they left.
Sun angrily reacted to Scott’s actions on the podium, shouting at Scott “You’re a loser, I’m a winner!”
The move by Scott was seen as a protest against Sun, who is due to stand before the Court of Arbitration for Sport for doping allegations in September, and who served a three month ban for doping in 2014.
The controversial decision to allow Sun to compete at Gwangju was based on a technicality, as his case in September could result in a lifetime ban.
When Sun was promoted to first place, the crowd booed him.
Australia’s Mack Horton similarly refused to stand on the podium on Sunday after Sun won the 400m freestyle.
Social media trolls have reportedly targeted Scott, as he has received death threats against him and his family that included a photograph with a noose photoshopped around his neck.
Scott didn’t speak to reporters after the incident, but later told the BBC: “If Sun can’t respect our sport then why should I respect him? I think a lot of people, everyone in swimming, got behind what Mack did.”
Scott has also received praise from his teammate Adam Peaty, who said that Scott was “completely right” in what he did.
Peaty also questioned if Sun should continue to competitively compete in swimming: “He should be asking himself now should he really be in sport when the people were booing him, but I know how they are and I know how he is so.
“I think the most important thing as a sportsperson is you have the right to a voice and Duncan showed his voice and so did the crowd. If the fans aren’t wanting him [Sun] I don’t even know why he’s here.”
Others in the swimming community have praised both Scott and Horton. Four time Olympians Rebecca Adlington and Lizzie Simmonds said Scott did the sport proud on the podium.
Both Duncan Scott and Sun Yang have been issued warning letters for the incident.
Featured Image: The New Daily