Mack Horton (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Following Mack Horton calling Sun Yang a 'drug cheat', things have heated up at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio.
Earlier last week, after Yang apparently splashed Horton during training, the Australian lashed out at him in the media.
"I ignored him, I don't have time or respect for drug cheats,"said the 20-year-old at a press conference.
At a later meeting with the press, Horton explained his anger.
"I used the words drug cheat because he tested positive," he added.
"I just have a problem with athletes who have tested positive and are still competing." In 2014, Sun served a three-month ban after he tested positive for a banned stimulant recently added to the banned list, which he claimed was administered to him by a doctor after he had heart palpitations.
Nonetheless, the Australian Olympic Committee rallied behind Horton following his 400m freestyle win on Saturday, where Yang settled for second place.
"He has spoken out in support of clean athletes. This is something he feels strongly about and good luck to him," said a statement.
Meanwhile, China's swimming team manager Xu Qi said the comments were unnecessary and demanded an apology.
"We think his inappropriate words greatly hurt the feelings between Chinese and Australian swimmers," said Qi.
"It is proof of a lack of good manners and upbringing. We strongly demand an apology from this swimmer."
However, Yang might have a chance to get the last laugh, as the pair are expected to meet again in the 1500m freestyle final on Friday, where Yang is the defending champion.
"I've proved I'm clean, I don't think we need to concern ourselves with the Australian's mind tricks," said Yang, who holds the world record for the distance.
"In 1500m I am the king."
C'mon guys, where is the love?