There was no podium protest at the world swimming titles in South Korea on Wednesday night but the Sun Yang controversy does not look like going away.
Controversial Chinese star Sun has been snubbed at two medal ceremonies to date and the stage was set for more drama in the 800m freestyle on night four of the eight day titles at Gwangju.
But there was no repeat of Sun’s remarkable medal ceremony clash with Briton Duncan Scott on Tuesday after the triple Olympic champion failed to make the 800m freestyle podium, finishing sixth.
While there was no problems on Wednesday, Sun is set to contest one more event, the 4x200m freestyle relay, with the final on Friday night.
Until then the controversy will keep simmering after Scott made no apologies for becoming the latest to protest Sun, saying he hopes there are more podium snubs.
The Briton followed the lead of Australian Mack Horton and refused to acknowledge Sun’s controversial 200m freestyle win on Tuesday night, sparking ugly scenes.
Sun gesticulated wildly at Scott post-ceremony, with TV cameras capturing the now 11-time world champ saying: “You’re a loser; I’m winning.”
Both Scott and Sun were issued with warnings from world body FINA for “inadequate behaviour” – much to the surprise of the Briton.
“I got a warning after Sun Yang? I haven’t got a clue, I literally just swam, I know as much as you guys right now – I’ve made my statement,” Scott said on Wednesday.
Second-placed Sun was gifted the 200m world title after Lithuania’s Danas Rapsys was disqualification for a false start.
Then co-bronze winner Scott refused to shake hands with Sun or take part in post-ceremony photos.
Scott clearly had no regrets.
“I am Team Mack. If (Sun) can’t respect our sport, then why should I respect him?,” he said.
“Hopefully this will happen in more events.”
Australia’s Mitch Larkin paid tribute to Scott and Horton.
“You know they’re truly the most courageous guys and I couldn’t be more proud of both of them,” he said.
Olympic champion Horton lit the fuse for the world titles controversy when he refused to share a podium with Sun after the Chinese champion relegated him to 400m silver on Sunday night.
Swimmers are livid that Sun has been allowed to compete with a September Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing looming that may end the Chinese star’s career.
Sun has been accused of destroying vials of his blood with a hammer during a clash with testers last year.
Sun – who served a 2014 doping ban – faces a lifetime suspension if found guilty.
World breaststroke champion Adam Peaty said he had a problem with Sun, who was booed when he celebrated his surprise 200m win while a shattered Rapsys left the pool.
“He (Sun) should be asking himself now ‘should I really be in this sport when people are booing me?’,” the Briton said.
“And if I was swimming (against Sun) I wouldn’t even get on the podium for that matter.”