Sun Yang’s Swimmer of Meet Award Draws Outrage On Twitter

Sun Yang
Photo Courtesy: Maria Dobysheva

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As if his withdrawal from the 1500 free final wasn’t controversial enough, awarding Sun Yang the Male Swimmer of the Meet by FINA was the last straw for many, and they took to social media to vent their anger and frustration.

Much of the outrage appears to come from Great Britain, where notable names such as Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington wondered why compatriot Adam Peaty was not given the trophy. Peaty won three gold medals (50 and 100 breast, 400 mixed medley relay) and set a world record in the 50 breaststroke.

Some brought up Sun’s three-month doping ban last year as another reason why Sun did not deserve the award. Sun’s ban was for an illegal substance in heart medication he had been taking, though he said in a press conference today that he had no previous heart issues.

Among male swimmers, Peaty’s two individual gold medals was matched by Sun (400 and 800 free), Florent Manaudou (50 fly and 50 free) and Mitch Larkin (100 and 200 back). With the award based on points, Sun’s silver medal in the 200 freestyle was likely the deciding factor. On the women’s side, giving the trophy to Katie Ledecky was a no-brainer, with two world records and five gold medals.

Sun won the Male Swimmer of the Meet trophy in 2013 after winning the 400, 800 and 1500 freestyles. At that meet, he was the only male to win three individual events.

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21 comments

    • avatar
      Tim

      What an asinine juvenile thing to say.
      Thats it huh! Your a doper (even tho you served your disciplinary measures) and a coward (for reasons we don’t know)…so we’re not giving you swimmer of the meet.
      That the way it should’ve gone down?

  1. Geraldine Palmer

    Thought katie ledeckys or the performances ny the 2 aussie swimmers seebohm and larkin would have been chosen..

    • Brady Rothschild

      He got for male swimmer of the meet. Ledecky was the female swimmer of the meet. Its still ridiculous that they gave him that award

      • avatar
        Paul

        Yes it’s rather ridiculous that they should give the award to the swimmer with the most points. If FINA handed out an award for the biggest cry baby than Adam Peaty would win it for sure. That should keep everyone happy.

      • avatar
        Paul

        More points that Adam Peaty or any another swimmer for that matter.

  2. avatar
    C. M.

    Americans were born stupid before they can crawl.

    • avatar
      swimmermama

      I fail to understand the relevancy of this comment. If you read the article, you will notice of the tweets shown, only one is from an American. All the other tweets are from people of other nationalities. People who post ridiculous comments such as yours are truly the stupid ones.

  3. avatar
    C. M.

    Americans are all on dope, I mean look at your “american football” and athletics, they are starting already on steroids on highschool.

    • avatar
      C. M.

      If dope is common among american highschool atletes: why should american swimmers be any different. If Katie Ledecky was Chinese, the western press would be all over the place. But they think it’s quite normal to improve a record with 15 seconds or so.

      • avatar
        A concerned swimmer

        C.M. When you make claims back them up with Facts.
        -where’s your proof that doping is common in American high schools? In fact as the world of sports gets even bigger drug testing is becoming even more common and spreading down to lower and lower levels. I am not naive Doping is at all levels and micro dosing is now a thing.
        -Katie ledecky competes more regularly than sun yang therefore gets tested more regularly and has never failed. The point in question with Sun Yangs Suspension was China delayed reporting it until after his three month ban would have been completely served and all bans are retroactive starting on test date. They waited way too long to report it. We are also in Russia which is currently being investigated by an independent panel for the worst state sponsored doping allegations in history. Also for him to say in his interview he as never had heart issues before but he failed his drug test because of “contaminated” heart medicine? Does that not sound suspicious. A world class athlete would know if he had heart issues and known if he had actually taken heart medication before. I am not here to argue whether or not he should have gotten the award. If it was all based on individual performances I believe he probably got it fairly since he medaled in 3 individuals. I don’t believe a world record adds any points as only order of finish gives you points.
        -did you not learn anything about falsely accusing athletes of drug use with no evidence? Remember the Katinka Hozzu article?
        -almost all of the tweets were from European countries not America. America had no dog in the fight as the U.S. Team with the lone exception of Katie Ledecky Swam awful. So almost none of the tweets are American, they are from countries that feel wronged.
        -athletes have the right to voice their opinion after all this sport is about the athletes not the officials or FINA or the national Federationa. However I agree that social media is not the place to do it.
        Also FINA has been called into question many times in 2015 for corrupt and bad decisions. They have refused to do an independent review and gave their highest honor to a political figure who weeks later was accused of involvement in the worst state sponsored doping scandal as well as elected the race director of the race that saw the lost of Fran Crippen to their open water technical committee, let him run another race in the same spot but different time of year and then allowed him to raise the prize money given out to attract athletes as many athletes were planning on boycotting out of respect for Fran. So I can see why athletes are starting to get frustrated with FINA.

      • avatar
        Los Feliz

        NCAA doping situation from the book “History of Doping in Sport”

        In another report, a former drug dealer described steroid use at
        Nebraska as ‘massive’ and estimated use on the 1983 and 1984 teams to be
        as high as 85% (Keteyian, 1987).

        Additional evidence of rampant steroid use
        64 International Sports Studies, vol. 24, no. 1, 2002
        derives from a number of journalistic investigations implicating such
        Comhusker greats as Dean Steinkuhler, Dave Rimington, Danny Noonan,
        Neil Smith, and Lawrence Pete, all of whom have admitted using steroids
        while at Nebraska (Keteyian, 1987; Yaeger & Looney, 1993).

        Regarding steroid use at Notre Dame, Yaeger & Looney (1993: 49)
        concluded ‘First Lou Holtz arrived at Notre Dame. Then a lot of steroids did.
        The connection is inescapable. It also has been devastating. The football
        team quickly became awash in anabolic steroids, starting in 1986’.

        On the basis of the results of an anonymous survey of Division I-III
        athletes, sponsored by the NCAA in 1989, one would expect that on a team
        with one hundred football players, on average ten would have used steroids
        in the prior twelve months (Anderson et al., 1991).

    • avatar
      Curt Altschul

      AH YES! BECAUSE you think (you posted no evidence other than your ignorant opinion) that football players are on steroids, then the LOGICAL CONCLUSION is that American swimmers are on steroids.

      Here is some reality for ya, high school (in California) athletes are now subject to random drug testing. College athletes have been subject to random drug testing for YEARS. In the NFL, players are regularly screened and are fined, suspended and/or banned if found that they’ve been ‘juicing’.

      Signed,
      A retired NCAA coach

  4. avatar
    Jorge Cruz

    I think a lot of the athletes that felt the need to complain about the award showed a lack of class and placed too much emphasis on awards. If they disagreed with the decision, fine, but with so many griping on social media, they look less like world class athletes and more like whiners and cry babies. So one decision didn’t go the way you thought it should- so what? Women not being allowed to vote is a tragedy. A swimmer losing an award to another pretty good swimmer is not. This championship was held in Russia- where is their outrage for the way Russia is turning gay people in to criminals? Where is their outrage at Russian-backed forces killing thousands in eastern Ukraine? yeah, self absorbed athletes don’t even know what is really important because they are too engrossed in their own opinions.

  5. avatar
    Gordon

    Bizarre selection – it would seem a better choice to go with a male swimmer who peaked for this meet (two individual world records), won 3 golds and helped raise his country’s swimming standard higher than at any point in what seems like decades. That would be Peaty. Maybe FINA felt sorry for Yang after he dropped out of his signature event?

  6. avatar
    Amanda Kang

    I admit that no male athlete dominates the Worlds this time. But especially the British (and Australian) disparage Sun Yang because of jealousy that Adam Peaty didn’t win MVP. These people speak ill of Chinese athletes nearly every time they achieve something. As a Chinese, I must say I find these comments really disgusting.
    The MVP is based on FINA rules and the points a swimmer acquired. As we all know the standard is that only individual events are calculated, gold equals 5 pts, silver 3 puts, bronze 2 pts, 4th 1pt, and one WR equals 2 pts. Thus Sun Yang got 13 points in total, Adam Peaty 12, Manaudou and Larkin both 10. So it’s legitimate that Sun Yang win MVP though the edge is extremely small. And I wanna ask if Jessica Hardy had performed well enough to win such awards, would you post such acerbic comments?

  7. avatar
    Paul

    To A concerned swimmer,

    Before athletes get frustrated and make unproven accusations it maybe in their best interest to read and understand the rules. Here it is http://www.fina.org/H2O/docs/events/kazan2015/sw_summons.pdf

    On page 6, it clearly states how points are awarded for INDIVIDUAL trophies awarded to male and female swimmers. Just in case you like a lot of the British athletes are too lazy to read it, here is what you need to know.

    1st place = 5 points
    2nd place = 3 points
    3rd place = 2 points
    4th place = 1 point
    WR = 2 points.

    Now that we understand the rules, let’s apply them. First is Sun Yang. He won the 400 m + 800 m freestyle and was 2nd in the 200 m freestyle. He didn’t set any WR. So Sun scored a total of 13 points.

    Adam Peaty won the 50m and 100 m breaststroke. He finished outside the top 4 in the 200 m breaststroke. He did set one world record in the 100 m breaststroke. Total points equal 12.

    Florent Manaudou won the 50 m freestyle and 50 m butterfly. No world records. Total points equal 10.

    Relays don’t count, that’s not an individual event.

    So Sun wins. It’s based on a points system not a popularity contest. So the complaints from the British athlete and media make them look like uneducated sore losers and cry babies.

    Funny that Michael Jameison would want to know what quite of message it sends out. Has he looked in the mirror wonder about what kind of message his ill form tweet sends out? Find a hole and crawl into it buddy. What about Adam Peaty, what a humble and gracious athlete he is hey. At least we know what he really is like. As for Rebecca Adlington just wow. I mean how irresponsible can one person be to promote hate and innuendo without first checking the facts. She should be sacked from job ASAP.

    • avatar
      Sportlover

      Well comment! Except Rebecca Arlington, the BBC swimming presenter should be sacked too. Why BBC put those small minded people on those posts? It says all about the BBC!!!

  8. avatar
    peter laren

    i cant believe the comments on here. its so easy to react without first investigating the matter. just because your favorite swimmer did not win mvp does not make sun winning the mvp dubious. he won it fair and square according to the rules. rules are rules, and they are placed there for this very reason.

    i am embarrassed as an american by our reaction and behavior.

    and to those who continue to question whether his heart issue is real or not, dont have to right to judge one way or another. having listened to many of his interviews, it is not a mystery that hes had heart problems since he was a kid, which makes me suspect that he will always have heart problems even as an adult; this is well known, for those who do the research, way before the “doping” incident was made public.

    and to those who question and criticize why he decided to drop out of the 1500m final, we dont know how difficult it was for him to swim the 200, 400, 800 each 2 times and 1500 prelim with a preexisting heart condition. he made the right decision not to swim the 1500 : his health is worth more than winning a gold medal. i hope he recovers well and is healthy enough to compete in rio.

  9. avatar
    JJSback

    I saw some jealous comments which argued fina made a wrong decision. I won’t say the other candidates are less worthy of the MVP than Sun. Actually, I think every one of them could have been MVP. But, it started to turn sour when you bring up the doping again. First, according to all news, there were no evidence of doping that related to this match and I’m sure he passed every test to come to the championship. So it is quite interesting to call out something like 100% clean. Who was 100% clean? Even though your MVP candidate was clean with fina, do you also think he never tried pots, drugs, or whatever stimulus were there? Or the cleaningness were not of 100% coverage? BTW, the official record was Sun was miss doped for drugs that were supposed to treat his heart disease. If you see the list of stuffs that might lead to failed drug test, you will know how every athletes were a kind of walking on a string. One misstep, they fall and they crash… So it’s really merciful to just recognize the difference between intentional and unintentional doping and give the great athletes bigger room, for example maybe get to eat a chocolate bar once a while.

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