The Chinese social media scene was lit on Thursday after a Weibo user posted photos of Lin Dan with a ‘mystery woman’ just days after the badminton star’s wife gave birth to their first child.
A user known by ‘Detective Zhao’ posted pictures and gifs he claimed showed the two-time Olympic champion with a woman in October.
Other internet users quickly identified her as Zhao Yaqi, a model and actress.
The post was the top trending topic and had more than 200,000 reposts and 40,000 comments on Weibo
Lin’s wife Xie Xingfang, a former badminton star, gave birth to a boy in Beijing on Nov 5. Lin, 33, and Xie, 35, wed in 2012.
Lin quickly apologised on Weibo with a brief message in Chinese: “As a man, I do not make any excuses for myself, but my actions have hurt my family. I apologise to them here.”
The five-time world champion has dominated the sport for a decade.
Lin, nicknamed Super Dan, has two Olympic gold medals to his name, but left the 2016 Rio Olympics empty handed.
Formerly the world No. 1, he is now ranked third after Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei and compatriot Chen Long.