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IOC urges athletes to respect each other


08-09-2016 10:20 BJT

Full coverage: 2016 Rio Olympics

The International Olympic Committee has urged athletes to show "respect" to each other, in the wake of a war-of-words involving drug-tainted swimmers and their rivals. The comment came after Australian swimmer Mack Horton branded his Chinese rival Sun Yang as a "drugs cheat."

"Clearly we want to encourage freedom of speech but on the other hand of course the Olympics is and should be about respecting others and respecting the right of others to compete and you know there is a line somewhere there - and each case is different - where people should be free to compete in tranquility if you like and not be aggressed by others. So yes, we would encourage people to respect their fellow competitors," said Mark Adams, IOC spokesman.

Horton admitted to Australian media that his remarks were made on purpose, with the aim to affect rival Sun Yang's mood and score. Horton had acknowledged after their final that there were tensions between him and Sun after a splashing incident during a recent practice.

The Chinese swimming team demanded an apology from Horton. The 20-year old Australian swimmer got the gold medal in men's 400 meters freestyle, while Sun won the silver medal. 

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