Olympic champion Mack Horton says he has tuned out of the endless circus surrounding his great Chinese rival Sun Yang and hasn't thought twice about whether they will collide at this year's FINA World Championships in Korea.
Since they stepped onto the pool deck in Rio, the careers of Horton and Sun have been intertwined. Horton boldly called out Sun as a drug cheat then went on to beat him in a thrilling 400-metre freestyle final, all the while coming under relentless attack from fans in China.
Sun hasn't stopped making headlines since, the latest saga having the Chinese superstar accused of smashing a vial of blood with a hammer during a doping test. FINA gave him a leave pass after their investigation, but WADA has since referred the matter for the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Meanwhile, Sun – a multiple Olympic gold medal winner who served a three-month doping ban in virtual secrecy in 2014 – has been swimming and winning at the Chinese championships, where he dedicated one of his victories to former Australian Kenneth To, who died suddenly earlier this month.