GWANGJU, South Korea — After the events here this week involving the Chinese star Sun Yang, here’s hoping that both Ryan Lochte and Madisyn Cox not only make the 2020 U.S. Olympic swim team but, moreover, go on to win medals.
Then we can see whether the sanctimonious, self-righteously moralistic and, moreover, self-appointed doping athlete police apply their same rigid and inappropriate black-and-white standards to Americans tagged for “doping” — Lochte, eligible again Wednesday after 14 months off for a rules violation tied to an IV drip, and Cox, who got six months for tainted multivitamins.
Or — and let’s be real — if there’s something more.
You’d be hard-pressed not to smell the whiff of colonialism, imperialism and racism at work involving an athlete from China. Imagine, if you will, the outrage across all 50 states, red and blue, if had been an American who got snubbed on the medals stand, as Sun Yang did by athletes from Australia and Great Britain. As Sun Yang said, “Disrespecting me is OK, but disrespecting China was very unfortunate and I feel sorry about that.”
On Weibo, the People’s Daily — the official paper of the Chinese Communist Party — said, in part, “Sports should be purely sports. It’s not for someone who wants to make a splash. It’s not for someone to make trouble out of nothing, to be deliberately provocative. Let sports return to a normal state. Shame on them.”
If Sun Yang is shown to be liable of a doping violation, he deserves what he gets.
Until then, here is what he deserves — the benefit of the doubt, the presumption of innocence.