Olympic swimmer Mack Horton opens up after calling rival a drug cheat

Olympic gold medallist Mack Horton has explained his controversial comments about Chinese swimmer Sun Yang after returning from Rio.

The Aussie referred to his rival as a drug cheat – sparking a backlash from Yang fans.

But Horton’s told Nine’s Wide World of Sports he has no regrets about how he reacted to getting splashed by Yang in the practice pool.


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He said Yang “splashed me and I just kind of ignored him so I didn’t really have time for that and I knew I was going to get asked about it in the media so I just thought I better have a good answer ready and so I said what I did and it just kind of blew up”.

“Which I think was probably a good thing for clean sport – it wasn’t necessarily an attack  on him – more of a stand for clean sport.

But Mack said he had no regrets and wouldn’t take back anything he said.

“Just cause it was good to start that conversation of clean sport amongst the athletes.

“People did follow throughout the week” he said Michael Phelps even made a comment “so it was good to see that happen”.

Mack added “change will follow once the athletes start to make a stand, so progress is starting to be made I think”.

Horton also told the Nine Network he wouldn’t really call Yang a friend, saying the Chinese swimmer “doesn’t really look at me like that, so I don’t think so”.

But he quickly added that it doesn’t really bother him.

Horton also said he didn’t expect the backlash he copped from Yang’s fan base.  But he said he just “shut down basically public interaction on my social media accounts”.

He said an Instagram photo attracted 500,000 comments, so he had to turn off all commenting features and focus on what he had to do to get through the week.