10 August 2016
by Michael Chammas

'He pisses purple': French swimmer's attack on Chinese Rio Olympic champion Sun Yang

Sun Yang pumps his fist after winning the 200 metre freestyle

French swimmer Camille Lacourt has taken a swipe at controversial Chinese swimmer Sun Yang, declaring: "he pisses purple".

The swimming world has erupted after Australian Mack Horton called Sun a drug cheat on the opening day of the Rio Olympics, with the veteran French backstroker expressing his dismay over FINA's decision to allow him to compete.

Lacourt, who finished fifth in the 100 metre backstroke final not long after Sun claimed gold in the 200 metre freestyle, likened the sport to athletics with a belief there are a number of athletes in each race who are taking performance enhancing drugs.

"Sun Yang, he pisses purple," Lacourt told French radio station RMCsport.

"When I see the 200m podium I want to be sick. I prefer to remember the crowd that cheered when we went out. I am very sad when I see my sport getting like this. I have the impression I am looking at athletics, with two or three doped in each final.

"I hope that [swimming's world governing body] FINA is going to react and stop this massacre, because it is getting sad."

Sun, who served a three month ban for doping after testing positive to trimetazidine back in 2014, has felt the brunt of criticism after Horton's choice words at the start of the games.

The atmosphere was inflamed further when, after reeling in South Africa's Chad le Clos to win Olympic gold on Monday night, Sun embraced FINA executive director Cornel Marculescu. Sun said Marculescu was like a "grandfather" to him.

Frenchman Camille Lacourt has joined the chorus of disapproval towards Chinese swimmer Sun Yang

After the race Sun was asked about his friendship with Marculescu, the FINA boss, and replied that he had been a figure of support since the controversy in Rio erupted.

"Marcu is a very good friend of [the] Chinese swim team and he actually watched me like a grandfather. So I was very happy to see him see me win the gold. I hope this friendship will last."