Take Fight To FINA & Get Mack’s Medal Back, Aussie Coaches Tell Swimming Australia

Mack Horton AUS, 400m Freestyle Final, 18th FINA World Swimming Championships 2019, 21 July 2019, Gwanju South Korea. Pic by Delly Carr/Swimming Australia. Pic credit requested and mandatory for free editorial usage. THANK YOU.

Tony Shaw, is fuming.  Silence was never golden when it came to a federation’s responsibilities to act in the interest of its athletes,  suggested the chairman of the Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association (ASCTA) and an Australian team coach himself.

And he was going to be silent no more. Pointing the finger squarely at Swimming Australia, for “sitting on its hands” and not leading the charge to get Mack Horton the 400m freestyle World title back from Sun Yang, now the Chinese swimmer has been slapped with an eight-year ban to go alongside his positive doping test of 2014.

As ASCTA issued a statement accusing Sun and FINA off having ‘stolen the dreams of swimmers and coaches around the world’, Shaw told Swimming World:

“We had our swimmers robbed of gold medals in the 70s, 80-s and 90s … and I can’t believe it’s 2020 and we are having to go through this all again.

“It’s a joke that has to be sorted; not via emails and behind closed doors; we as an association representing the coaches demand action to taken  – it’s time to make Mack a world champion.”

“We have not heard one word from Swimming Australia; not one word; why aren’t they doing something immediately in support of Mack and his coach Craig Jackson? This has impacted not only Mack Horton, an extraordinary young Australian, who we are all so proud of, but also his parents who are going through hell protecting their son and then there’s the coach Craig Jackson.”

The heat from Australian coaches and swimmers has prompted Swimming Australia CEO Leigh Russell to acknowledge the “critical issues” that need raising – and will be raised – with FINA. She said:

“In the coming days and weeks we will take the opportunity to talk with our international counterparts and also our athlete and coach leaders about the issues currently being raised regarding FINA and it’s systems, processes and governance, including their ability to reallocate the World Championship medals.

“Following these discussions we expect conversations will be taking place between the federations and FINA on these critical issues.”

In the face of coach fury, she sought to explain the federation’s lack of instant action and response to the Sun decision by saying that focus Wass on Tokyo 2020 preparations: “Right now our focus is firmly on supporting our athletes in their preparation for Tokyo.”

That cut no mustard with Shaw and ASCTA. He said:

“It’s time to get on the front foot, make a stance for Mack, his parents and his coach and get that gold medal their son so richly deserves; but nothing, not a word; time to act Swimming Australia…stop sitting on your hands and stir the pot.

“Mack and Craig should be recognised as not only an Olympic champion swimmer and coach but also now a World Champion swimmer and coach and with it the rewards; the gold medal and in this case the $20,000 FINA put up for a gold medal.

“The record has to be set straight; the judge has handed down his verdicts and they deserve their rewards; the gold medal and the prizemoney; they deserve better; they deserve what they trained so damn hard for.

“We had our swimmers robbed of gold medals in the 70s, 80-s and 90s…and I can’t believe it’s 2020 and we are having to go through this all again.

“It’s a joke that has to be sorted; not via emails and behind closed doors; we as an association representing the coaches demand action to taken  – it’s time to make Mack a world champion.”

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7 comments

  1. Bridget Lin

    Joshua Zhang Craig getting a mention

  2. Maca N Kez

    Keep pushing Tony Shaw’s
    Someone has to have the courage to stand for our swimmers. Fina continues to rule our sport despite all the corruption that goes on. #sackfina

  3. Gerrald Muffino

    He won fair and square. The first person to finish without cheating. He is the world champion in my books and a champion for all athletes who are honest enough to compete on a level playing field

  4. Roland Zhang

    sun didn’t do any doping before or after the arguable doping test. a genius swimmer was defamed by a bunch of gealous people.

  5. Shane Ashcroft

    Once a cheat always a cheat!! He was found guilty and rubbed out for a short period and has avoided testing. FINA has proven itself to be nothing more than incapable of protecting the

  6. avatar
    Anonymous

    He should be robbed of his medals. Should have been first thing done

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