Mack Horton says he’ll always champion clean sport, after needles were found at the Games villageMack Horton has no regrets over his defiant Rio Olympics stance on drug cheats and will again fly the flag for clean sport at the Commonwealth Games after hearing syringes were found in the Gold Coast athletes’ village.
The Olympic champion caused a sensation at the 2016 Games when he slammed China’s seven-time world champ Sun Yang, saying he had “no time or respect for drug cheats”.
He then sensationally went on to upset Sun to claim 400m freestyle gold at Rio.
Horton first heard about the syringe discovery when he fronted a Dolphins team press conference on Sunday.
But the 21-year-old said he had not changed his attitude toward drug cheats despite the fallout over his comments at Rio.
Asked if he would tone his comments down on the Gold Coast, Horton said: “Not at all. I am proud of how I handled myself in Rio.
“We are in a bubble in the village so we don’t hear much from the outside.
“(But) hopefully they are a clean Games.
“I think athletes know what they are doing and know they are responsible for what goes into their bodies.
“If they are caught cheating it is completely their fault.”
The Commonwealth Games Federation expects a preliminary report to be delivered on Sunday after cleaners located the syringes at the village on Saturday.
CGF chief executive David Grevemberg refused to comment on reports linking the find to India’s team.
n head coach Jacco Verhaeren was still confident the Gold Coast would host a clean Games.
“This is concerning information but from our point of view you are looking at a very clean team and hopefully a very clean Games as well,” he said on Sunday.
“It would be naive to think it doesn’t happen at all but it’s not front and centre in our minds that we are having to deal with cheaters here.”