Swimming Australia have played down reports that controversial Chinese star Sun Yang asked to change lanes at a training pool ahead of the World Championships in Korea so he wouldn't have to swim next to Olympic 400m freestyle champion and noted critic Mack Horton.
The South China Morning Post reported that Sun's Australian coach, Dennis Cotterell, asked for his swimmer to be moved one lane over so he wouldn't have to train alongside Horton, thus avoiding a potential flashpoint ahead of the meet in Gwangju, which starts on Sunday.
The pair have a famous history. At the Rio Olympic Games, the Sydney Morning Herald revealed that Sun had antagonised Horton in the training pool, before Horton returned fire by calling Sun a 'drug cheat' ahead of their 400m final, which was won by the Australian.
It was reported that Sun and Horton were slated to swim in lanes three and four in the training pool, before Cotterell moved his swimmer to lane five. He shifted back to lane four after the Australians had concluded their session, the report said.
Swimming Australia have been contacted for comment but sources suggested there was little to the incident. Head coach Jacco Verhaeren was scheduled to speak at a pre-planned press conference later on Friday afternoon.
Sun remains a hugely controversial figure in the World Championships pool. Many believe he has no right to be here at all after being accused of smashing a vial of blood to prevent testers from taking a sample from his home late last year.
Governing body FINA cleared him of that infringement but Read More – Source