It seems the outrage over Olympic gold medallist Mack Horton‘s comment that China’s Sun Yang is a ‘drug cheat’ isn’t dying down any time soon.
After having his social media profiles trolled by incensed Chinese fanatics, the swimmer has been blasted as “immoral” by state-run Chinese media.
Clearly reeling from Horton’s blunt – yet undeniably factual – comments (Sun Yang was found guilty of doping in May 2014 and handed a three-month ban from swimming), The Global Times newspaper went on to describe Australia as an “offshore prison” and “a country at the fringes of civilisation”.
The op-ed, reportedly penned by the publication’s editor-in-chief, described Horton’s victory as “disgraceful”; his attitude as “cynical smugness”.
Depicting Australia's history as nothing more than that of a hapless penitentiary, the writer goes on to say nobody should be surprised by the misbehaviour of Australians.
"This suggests that no one should be surprised at uncivilised acts emanating from the country," he says.
After winning gold in the men's 400m freestyle event on the weekend, Horton faced a tense room of media personnel, who questioned his use of such damning terminology.
But the 20-year-old champion refused to flinch, coolly replying, "I used the word 'drugs cheat' because he tested positive".
The Australian Olympic Committee has pledged its support to Mack and has since issued a statement defending the gold medallist.
"He has spoken out in support of clean athletes. This is something he feels strongly about and good luck to him," the statement said.
Do you think Mack Horton's "drug cheat" comments were out of line?
Mamamia caught up with Anna Flanagan before the Rio Olympics.