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There's Some Serious DRAMA Going On In The Pool At Rio

Warning: Don't make Chinese swim fans mad.

Last updated on August 8, 2016, at 11:06 a.m. ET

Posted on August 7, 2016, at 12:55 p.m. ET

On Saturday, Mack Horton won Australia’s first gold medal at the Rio Olympics in the men’s 400-meter freestyle.

David Mariuz / AFP / Getty Images

However, the 20-year-old swimmer's win came after some juicy DRAMA in the pool.

Clive Rose / Getty Images

There has been some serious bad blood between him and Sun Yang, the Chinese swimmer who won silver in the final.

Clive Rose / Getty Images

At a training session earlier in the week, Horton accused Sun of splashing water in his face on purpose. "I didn't respond because I don't have time for drug cheats," the Aussie told media.

Christophe Simon / AFP / Getty Images

In 2014, Sun was handed a three-month suspension from swimming after testing positive for a banned substance.

Clive Rose / Getty Images

Sun told Chinese anti-doping authorities he had taken a drug for medical reasons, not knowing it was banned, according to Swimming World magazine.

"I will take it as a lesson and be more careful in the future," he said at the time.

After Saturday's final, Horton told reporters his victory was “definitely” a win for “the good guys.”

"I used the words drug cheat because he tested positive ... I just have a problem with athletes who have tested positive and are still competing," he said.

Sun also defended himself to media. "I don't care too much what the Australian athlete says ... I'm clean; I've done everything it takes to prove I'm clean," he said.

Clive Rose / Getty Images

Soon, though, Sun's angry fans began inundating Horton's Instagram account with angry comments calling on him to #ApologizeToSunYang.

"YOU ARE A LOSER AND YOU ARE THE SHAME OF AUSTRALIA," read one comment, while others simply used emojis to call Horton a 💩 and a 🐍.


Within a matter of hours, EVERY SINGLE ONE of Horton's Instagram pictures had a litany of toxic comments.

Instagram / Via

Even this innocent photo of a car four-wheel driving was not safe from the 🐍, 💩, and (randomly) 🍑 emojis.


Horton wasn't safe on Twitter or Facebook, either, as #ApologizeToSunYang soon began trending.

@_mackhorton #apologizetosunyang 🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍

@_mackhorton Ur so disrespectful and RACIST to your competitor! You didn't even know the truth! Sun has heart issue. #ApologizeToSunYang

@_mackhorton @DellyPhotoNinja you won the game but you lose your basic polite we China a big country won blame your suckeyou makes us sick

Horton hasn't yet responded on social media to any of his critics.

Clive Rose / Getty Images

UPDATE: The drama is INTENSIFYING!!! China has demanded an official apology for what they called a "malicious personal attack," the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

Matt Slocum / AP

"We have been noticing what has been said in the past two days by Horton, who launched a malicious personal attack [on Chinese swimmers]," team manager Xu Qi told China's Xinhua news agency.

"We think his inappropriate words greatly hurt the feelings between Chinese and Australian swimmers. It is proof of a lack of good manners and upbringing.

"We strongly demand an apology from this swimmer."

Chinese media has also begun publishing and sharing a bunch of negative stories about Australia.


China's Global Times also published a piece calling Australia "a country at the fringes of civilization" and mocking its history as an "offshore prison."

Global Times

"This suggests that no one should be surprised at uncivilized acts emanating from the country. We should think the same way," the piece reads. 🔥

Horton has also now locked down his Instagram and deleted all comments. 🙊


A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.