Scott and Horton 'should be applauded' for Sun protests - Thompson
Duncan Scott and Mack Horton should be applauded for refusing to stand on a podium with controversial Chinese swimmer Sun Yang, according to two-time Olympic champion Daley Thompson.
The actions of Briton Scott and Australian Horton have grabbed attention at the World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju, with both men opting not to join Sun after he won gold in the 400 and 200 metres freestyle events.
Sun is the subject of an appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, with WADA questioning a decision by swimming's global governing body FINA not to punish him over allegations stemming from a visit by out-of-competition testers in September 2018.
The 27-year-old, who served a three-month ban for a doping offence in 2014, denies all wrongdoing and has requested a public hearing.
But after Horton, who finished second to Sun in the 400m final, opted not to congratulate his rival on Sunday, bronze medallist Scott followed suit at the ceremony for the 200m final on Monday, which enraged the Chinese swimmer.
Horton and Scott were warned about their actions by FINA - who also rebuked Sun after he launched an angry tirade at Scott in which he appeared to call him "a loser" - but former decathlete Thompson, twice an Olympic gold medallist, believes the protesting pair should instead be praised.
"I think it's great," Thompson, speaking as an ambassador for Bridgestone UK's 'Everyday Battlers' campaign, told Omnisport. "Duncan and those guys feel really strongly about it. It affects all their livelihoods and it affects all their fame, all their family.
@Dunks_Scott I take my hat off to you for your stand against that cheat, at least I would, if I wore one. It takes courage and conviction and you’ve showed plenty of both. Now go win some more medals— Daley Thompson (@Daley_thompson) July 24, 2019
"They need a platform on which to do it. Part of the problem, recently, has been all the people who run all the sporting federations – whether it be the swimming federation or the IOC [International Olympic Committee] – they are not strong enough against all the people that cheat and they don't look after all the people that don't cheat. I don't see how they can justify being in their positions when they do those kind of things.
"The only thing left to the non-cheating athletes is to do things like that [protest] and I think it's great. Both Duncan and Horton have done something that should be applauded - even though the powers-that-be have told them that they're not allowed to do it."
Daley Thompson is launching Bridgestone UK's 'Everyday Battlers' campaign, which will help 10 Brits to overcome their personal obstacles in life by training for a 10k run.