A SCOTTISH swimmer sparked a confrontation after refusing to share a podium with China's controversial gold medallist Sun Yang.

Duncan Scott, from Glasgow, finished in joint-third place with Russia's Martin Malyutin in the 200m freestyle at the World Aquatics Championships in South Korea, but would not stand beside winner Sun or shake his hand during the medal ceremony.

Yang has previously served a three-month ban after being tested positive for a banned stimulant, and has been accused of being a "drug cheat" by others.

During the medal ceremony he began shouting and gesticulating angrily at Scott, who was hanging back and had refused to congratulate him.  

Scott then pointedly refusing to shake hands with Yang or pose for the official photo, and the bad feeling continued with the Chinese swimmer calling him a "loser" as they walked away.


Yang reacted angrily to Scott's decision 

The crowd in the Gwangju's Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Center reacted with boos and jeers for Yang, but some were also cheering Scott's actions.

The incident is the second time an athlete has refused to share a podium with Sun Yang at the competition because of the clouds hanging over his achievements.

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Australian swimmer Mack Horton decided against joining his rival on the podium or pose for pictures after being pipped to the gold medal in the in the 400m freestyle on Monday.

As a result of his protest, Horton, 23, who won 400m freestyle gold at the Rio Olympics, was warned about his conduct by the sport's governing body, Fina.

"I'm team Mack," said Scott. "If [Sun] can't respect our sport then why should I respect him? I think a lot of people, everyone in swimming, got behind what Mack did. Hopefully this will happen in more events."


The GB athlete refused to take part in photos with Yang 

Great Britain's Adam Peaty who won the 100m breaststroke  on Monday- his third successive gold in the event - backed his teammate, saying he was “completely right” to take action, adding that Sun should consider his place in swimming.

Peaty, who broke his own world record in the 100m heats, added: “He [Yang] should be asking himself now should he really be in sport when the people were booing him, but I know how they are and I know how he is so ...”

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Peaty, who has previously criticised Sun and the decision to allow him to compete in Gwangju with the doping case hanging over him, said athletes had a right to speak out.

“I think the most important thing as a sportsperson is you have the right to a voice and Duncan showed his voice and so did the crowd,” he said. “If the fans aren’t wanting him [Sun] I don’t even know why he’s here.”

Olympic silver medallist and Commonwealth champion Scott finished in 1:45.63, with Japan's Katsuhiro Matsumoto taking silver in 1:45.22 and Sun winning in 1:44.93.

Danas Rapsys of Lithuania, initially declared the winner, was disqualified for a false start meaning Yang won his second title of the championships.


Duncan Scott

Scott said: "I'm pretty disappointed with the time but when you get to this level time goes out the window and it's about getting in the top three.

"I think [Rapsys' disqualification] it was his start, there aren't many other ways in freestyle.

"It's hard as I'm gaining off someone else's misfortune and I would have liked to have won it outright, but I'll take it."

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Yang was banned in 2014 for testing positive for a banned stimulant trimetazidine, which he said had been for a heart complaint.

His feud with Horton goes back to the 2016 Rio Olympics when the Australian accused him of deliberately splashing him in a training session, saying: "I ignored him, I don't have time or respect for drug cheats."

Later, he added: "I just have a problem with athletes who have tested positive and are still competing."