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Controversy continues to whirl around swimming star

Updated: 2013-11-18 20:19

Controversy continues to whirl around swimming star

China's Sun Yang reacts after the men's 1500m freestyle heats during the World Swimming Championships at the Sant Jordi arena in Barcelona in this August 3, 2013 file photo. [Photo/Agencies]

Despite having finished his seven-day detention for driving without a license, China's Olympic champion swimmer Sun Yang remains the center of controversy.

Sun's relationship with teammates was questioned this time as a local newspaper reported on Nov 17 that the 400m and 1,500m freestyle Olympic champion has become a supercilious athlete after winning fame and fortune with elite results.

“He's always coming and leaving alone unlike others who stay together. And he almost has no friends on the team,” an athlete of the Chinese national swimming squad was quoted anonymously by Southern Metropolis Daily as saying.

“Before building his name in 2010, he used to be an easy-going guy who kept close bonds with us. But after improving his performance and winning the World Championships and Olympics, he's become an arrogant person, who barely talks with us,” said the athlete.

According to the report, Sun also showed no respect to some veteran swimmers such as Zhang Lin and Wu Peng, who used to perform better than him at international events.

Zhang, China's first male world champion swimmer in the 800m freestyle, struggled to regain his form at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, where Sun claimed the 1,500m gold medal and started his dominance in the freestyle pool.

Another swimmer with the national team told the paper that Sun usually talked about Zhang behind his back before becoming famous.

On Nov 3, Sun was caught driving without a license following a rear-end accident in Hangzhou. He was ordered detained for seven days by police and fined 5,000 yuan ($820).

To educate Sun and protect the image of Chinese swimming, the General Administration of Swimming of China announced tough penalties against him on Nov 6, temporarily dismissing him from the national team, and banning him from any domestic and international competition and any kind of commercial activities.

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