Chinese swimmer Sun Yang to rival Mack Horton: 'You must respect China'

Silver medallist Australia's Mack Horton refuses to stand on the podium with gold medalist China's Sun Yang and bronze medalist Italy's Gabriele Detti after the final of the men's 400m freestyle event on July 21, 2019.

(CNN)Australian swimmer Mack Horton has reignited his feud with Chinese swimming star Sun Yang -- and most of China -- by refusing to share the podium with his longtime rival.

Horton came second to Sun in the 400-meter freestyle event at the 2019 World Aquatic Championships in South Korea on Sunday, then refused to acknowledge his Chinese competitor, who he has previously called a "drug cheat."
Sun received a three-month ban after testing positive for a banned substance in 2014, and is facing renewed allegations according to ABC.
"I just won't share a podium with someone that behaves in the way that he has," Horton said after the race. When asked how he felt, the 23-year-old Australian summed it up as "frustration," the ABC reported.
    According to Chinese state media CGTN, Sun responded to Horton's actions, saying: "You could choose not to respect me, but you must respect China."
    On Monday, the competition organizers said they had decided to send a warning letter to both Horton and the sport's national governing body, Swimming Australia.
    "While FINA respects the principle of freedom of speech, it has to be conducted in the right context," the organizers said in a statement, adding that athletes were not to use the events to make personal statements or gestures.
    But Swimming Australia's CEO Leigh Russell stood by Horton, saying in a statement sent to CNN: "Swimming Australia respects the position Mack Horton took during the medal ceremony and understands his sense of frustration."
    Silver medalist Mack Horton of Australia and gold medalist Sun Yang of China pose during the medal ceremony for Men's 400m Freestyle Final on day one of the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships at Nambu International Aquatics Centre on July 21, 2019 in Gwangju, South Korea.