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

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

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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.



  1. Scott Richardson

    If FINA had done its job there would not need to be a protest

    • Brandon Ortiz

      Scott Richardson no Sun won fair and square. Mack is just a sore loser, he was happy to share the stage in Rio when he had gold.

      • avatar
        Brandon Hattingh

        Son and Efimova should not be allowed to Race . End of Discussion

      • avatar

        Your a RICHARD pal Sun is a proven drug cheat!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Steven Rose

      Brandon Ortiz He’s abused EPO’s for years and been caught repeatedly…

      • avatar

        Tell us the COMPLETE story of “repeatedly”

    • Rolf Linse

      Brandon Ortiz Did you follow international swimming for the last years??? Probably not.

    • Bronwyn Lees

      Yanjing Wang Surprise surprise NOT ?
      Your countryman is a CHEAT
      Always has been…
      And that’s what he will always be
      A HAS BEEN that
      No one remembers anything positive about other than being a POSITIVE DRUG CHEAT

      • avatar

        Horton is a LOSER
        Always has been…
        And that’s what he will always be
        A HAS BEEN that
        No one remembers anything positive about other than being a SORE LOSER
        and you will always be a loser as well as Horton

    • Brandon Ortiz

      Rolf Linse yes I have…..fake news

    • Brandon Ortiz

      Bronwyn Lees all the “news” on Sun is all just a bunch of noise. Stop drinking the cool aid.

      • avatar

        Sun is a CHEAT the whole world knows it IDIOT

    • Yanjing Wang

      Bronwyn Lees where do u come from of course Australia. Sun had heart problem the drug he always take it wasn’t illegal before. So that is why he only not to swim for 3 month. If u dont know the ture story just shut you fuc**** mouth and wait for the truth. What your counteyman did is just like clown. He lost the match and he is sore loser too.

    • Kath Taylor

      Yanjing Wang I don’t come from Australia so no sore looser here but I no sun yang is a PROVEN cheat May 17 ring any bells or have just forgotten about that

    • Yanjing Wang

      Kath Taylor hi Kath how r u? If he is positive drug cheat why do they let him into the match.if the May 17 is ture do u think he can entry the such big match?I mean some words is just too cruel for a young man who trains very hard. Same as other swimmers . They all done very hard work. Social media and keyboard warriors I dont think they cares they just put lots of “news” to collect ” likes “. Can we just all be quite and wait for the turth come out?

    • Kath Taylor

      Yanjing Wang google it then you’ll see he was a proven cheat he got a three month ban so you tell me why they have let him in I would love to know

      • avatar

        Please when you use google, try to google for the complete story. Western media tends to show half of the story they like. This might be a little difficult for someone so used to “mainstream media”

    • Yanjing Wang

      Kath Taylor hi I know this one. But if you google it again it will tell you the drug he took it was for his heart problem.
      “To be sure, Sun was banned from competition in 2014, but it was for only three months and for a proscribed substance, trimetazidine, that had been prescribed for angina, a heart condition. When Sun took the drug, it had been on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list for less than five months, and today is no longer recognized as a stimulant by doping agencies.”
      From TIMES
      That is y.

    • Yanjing Wang

      Kath Taylor and that was 2014. And then “Sun Yang has been facing mounting criticism at the 2016 Rio Games after Australian gold medalist Mack Horton repeatedly slammed him as a “drug cheat,” and then French swimmer Camille Lacourt said the 200-m freestyle champion “pisses purple” in reference to an earlier failed drugs test” from TIMES
      when he won the gold medal he was happy to.share.the stage with Sun Yang. Ok why is that because this time he lost. What do u think? I would say “grew up man”

    • Yanjing Wang

      Kath Taylor yeah yeah let’s wait shall we ?

    • Shalvin Sharma

      Sun yang has been on medication no injections or steriods etc the substance was just recently banned back than. he broke the vile of blood out of frustration.. and there was no proper authorization for him to be tested or have his blood withdrawal wich makes the process illegal. truth is even if other athletes were on drugs they still cant beat him.. and as its evident! The world body supports him! They fully back him up! And he is here to stay! Like it or not! Probably Mackenzie Horton should be banned for being the dad looser that he is and he should taste some of Sun’s blood to know and feel what being a reigning world champion is all about! Innocent unless proven guilty! Sun would have been stripped off of all titles.. but here we are… the legendary Sun Yang keeps beating opponents effortlessly like a hot knife through butter! And it will stay that way!

  2. avatar

    Go on FINA, punish the clean athlete because you failed to deal with a drug cheat.

  3. Kath Taylor

    I cannot believe Fina they are a joke do your job and swimmers wouldn’t have to protest ?

    • avatar

      which makes you a joke

  4. Bennie Bouwer

    Boggles the mind Bunch of wimps Protest the heck out of this mr Horton ??

    • avatar

      Horton is a joke. This is so wrong!

      • avatar

        But Horton received a standing ovation from all other swimmers – so they all agree with him So who cares what you think

      • avatar

        Loser is a loser, even if he can get support from other losers. To find out who is doping, just look at the medical records in WADA database (but they won’t publish to protect “privacy”)

  5. Paul Hartigan

    Carry on Mack. Cheaters should never be allowed to swim

    • avatar

      You mean Shayna Jack?

  6. Bernardo Matos

    Organizations hate this type of action… Kaepernick’s taking the knee the most public of them all (not trying to compare racism with doping, it’s the action in itself, taking a stand).
    The difference is, if you talk and don’t act, words mean nothing.
    Mack acted to represent his beliefs… And that means more than a shitty post of abject empty words.
    Are you woke now?

  7. Niles Keeran

    Why would an Australian swimmer support a doper and cheater like Sun from China when FINA doesn’t apparently care about PEDs ruining the sport.

    • avatar

      Let’s talk about Shayna Jack. Or the 2012 Olympic where the whole Australian team take dopes.

  8. avatar
    Veronica Branden

    If Horton doesn’t like it, simply don’t compete. He competed in the game, he lost, that’s when the soar loser decided to put on a show. Shameful.

  9. Rolf Linse

    FINA should have sent a warning letter to themselves ?

  10. avatar

    Many outsiders here appear to know the truth much better than FINA… Good luck Sun Yang! Horton has no guts to outperform in the competition, so he has to play tricks elsewhere. What a shame!

  11. Sanele Nxumalo

    Good till the court finds sun yung guilty he ha no right behaving like that and the case is still pending

  12. Nancy Pulham

    Hey Mack, we’ve got this…
    FINA is becoming a joke! Everyone knows Sun, and a few others, are cheaters. FINA is losing the respect of the spectators and that will translate in loss revenue. Buckle up FINA, you’re taking a fast ride to the bottom of this sh*t pile you’ve created.

    • avatar

      Agree! More to Sun’s story… remember this?

      04 November 2013, 05:52am
      HANGZHOU, China, November 4. A day after being arrested for driving without a license, Olympic champion Sun Yang has apologized for the incident on the social media site Weibo. Additionally, Sun will spend seven days in jail as punishment for the offense.

      FINA should not have allowed him or any one with a pending case to swim until the case settled. They should not punish someone for how they feel and Sun should not make this about people being against his country. Really? Leave the politics out!

  13. Casey Jacob

    Read the writing on the wall FINA and WADA. The time is now.

  14. Lee Thomas

    Let’s hope Mack is not treated as badly by the authorities as another brave Aussie Peter Norman of the infamous Black power salute.

    • Tony MacGuinness

      Lee Thomas
      Don’t think it was infamous… not when people were trying to stay alive.

  15. Rich Davis

    FINA is a fucking joke. Now they’re protecting the drug cheat while chastising Mack and anyone else who wants them to fight against this scourge.

  16. Patsy Patterson Martin

    The true adventure of pure sportsman conduct is no longer there. Every year teams that need to win will cheat with drugs anyway they can. All we can do about it is to compete for the sheer joy of compitions.

  17. Tony MacGuinness

    Funny how one man and woman are allowed to create so much turmoil…
    and I am not talking about Yang, Mack or Efimova.

  18. Maria Sol Bogliotti

    Naaaaa!!! Really? A warning? FINA do your job. Wow! You are fast when it’s convenient but to decide on what matters you are a ?.

  19. Maria Sol Bogliotti

    The rest of the swimmers should support Horton… ( If you don’t complain now, later it’s late)…

    • Yanjing Wang

      Maria Sol Bogliotti hi the other swimmers was thinking I worked so hard to get the model why I should support Mr Horton. And by Daily Mail is says:”Horton could at least take solace from his silver medal finish at a world titles that, by rights, he shouldn’t be contesting.

      Horton failed to qualify for an individual event at last month’s world titles trials but was selected for the championships thanks to head coach Jacco Verhaeren’s discretionary powers.

      Asked if he was back, Horton said: ‘Kind of – I am going in the right direction’.
      Let’s all wait until September say what is the final decision….

    • Maria Sol Bogliotti

      Yanjing Wang what’s worst than the whole world saying boo??? Clean swim. Fair play. No matter the swimmer or country. Enjoy his winning. I continue asking for fairness. ?

      • avatar

        Haha, white people always think they are the whole world. If it is Ian Thorpe, the “whole world” is saying he is clean.

    • Yanjing Wang

      Maria Sol Bogliotti yes of course problem is you only see half of the world. Any other half cant even see this post. Me too I’m asking for the fairness as well ???

  20. Dan Thirlwell

    At least it wasn’t a dirty protest

    • Lee Anderson

      Sarah Northey Beasley fair play to him , I for one Do not expect any cheating in the pool, drugs/ armbands /heavy petting and no place in this wonderful sport . FINA should of acted sooner

  21. Ann M Cooper

    I think everyone should just keep their suits on and wait for the findings. If he is found to be a cheat, they’ll strip the medal. In the meantime play nice and get along. Having said that, who smashes a blood sample with a hammer?

    • Patsy Patterson Martin

      takes longer than that. Drug testing is way behind drugging. to bad it has to be in swimming.

    • Yanjing Wang

      Ann M Cooper Yes agree with just wait for the findings. According the lawyer from Sun’s at the day the people who took his urine sample and blood sample were dressed with shorts and T-shirt very informal. He took lots of pictures of Sun Yang with his own phone as he was too excited to see him. When his mum ask his to show his ID and he dont have formal ID either. So they ask Sun’s boss what to do. Then the answer was they have right not to give them the sample. So his mum ask the society to take sample away. At the end we the the hammer story. But if is true, God know what they ganna do with the sample.
      Anyway we should have the answer in September.
      Thanks from stay clam and fair judgement. It is meant a lot.

    • avatar

      No program correctness now? And guilty until proven innocent?

  22. avatar
    Swimmer & Scientist

    I think the majority of people commenting won’t have read the facts on this affair. I have a tendency to want to support Mack Horton’s protest but that’s more based on a sense of unfairness rather than the facts. Unless Mack Horton is privy to information not available to everyone else then I would conclude his protest is naive. It’s quite disrespectful to third place to destroy their photo and their occasion for your own protest. People may find this upsetting however I find it selfish to affect another innocent athletes recognition. Unless Mack is also inferring that third place is a cheat as well. At this point the only reasonable attack on Son is to decide that any athlete with any form of weakness that requires any form of drug is banned. This includes all the asthma medicated athletes as well. It seems Mack has decided that having a medicated heart condition precludes you or that Son is just a cheat with an elaborate scheme to cheat. The facts have indicated for some time that Son is not a cheat. This latest affair is concerning but people are obviously ignoring the other side of this story.

  23. avatar

    No one seems to have actually read the detailed findings of an official inquiry into Sun. The testers were inappropriately dodgy and refused to do the paperwork and protocol within regulations. They could frame him out of racial bigoted trump style prejudice.