ASIAN GAMES: Chinese gymnasts in hot water over hand gestures
‘DON'T shoot the messenger,' exclaim the Chinese gymnasts accused of ambush marketing at the Asian Games who find themselves in considerable amount of hot water in Guangzhou.
HOT WATER: Teng Haibin (L) and Lu Bo (R) make a gun-shaped hand gesture on the gymnastics podium at the Asian Games (Reuters)
China have won 13 of the 14 gold medals on offer in the gymnasium and plenty of gold and silvers to boot - so they have been permanent fixtures on the podium.
And a handful of them have been making rather peculiar hand gestures - resembling a gun-shape, but also not too dissimilar to the sports manufacturer named Li Ning, after the three-time Olympic champion.
As Li Ning is not an Asian Games sponsor, the Chinese team is being investigated for ambush marketing by the Olympic Council of Asia.
Men's all-around gold medallist Teng Haibin may have landed his team in hot water after he wasn't exactly discreet about the gesture following his victory on Monday.
"This is a gesture that's required as part of the deal with our sponsor," he said, explaining that it was meant to resemble Li Ning's "L'' shaped logo.
But Chen Yibing and He Kexin have tried to pour cold water on the situation, insisting the gesture has been completely misunderstood.
"The gesture looks like the letter 'l', the first letter of the English word love, so it means love," Olympic rings champion Chen said.
He added: "We decided to do that together before the competition as a celebration gesture, nothing (about) business, just for fun."
Nice try but those hand gestures look like smoking guns to me.