China's badminton star Lin Dan apologises for affair with model while wife was pregnant

Intimate photos and gifs of Lin Dan (right) and a woman, identified as model and actress Zhao Yaqi, were posted on Weibo on Thursday (Nov 17).
Intimate photos and gifs of Lin Dan (right) and a woman, identified as model and actress Zhao Yaqi, were posted on Weibo on Thursday (Nov 17). PHOTOS: WEIBO, AFP
Intimate photos and gifs of Lin and a woman, identified as model and actress Zhao Yaqi, were posted on Weibo on Thursday (Nov 17).
Intimate photos and gifs of Lin and a woman, identified as model and actress Zhao Yaqi, were posted on Weibo on Thursday (Nov 17). PHOTO: WEIBO
Lin Dan and his wife Xie Xingfang, a former badminton star. She gave birth to a boy in Beijing on Nov 5, 2016.
Lin Dan and his wife Xie Xingfang, a former badminton star. She gave birth to a boy in Beijing on Nov 5, 2016. PHOTO: WEIBO

Chinese badminton superstar Lin Dan has shocked fans by admitting to an affair while his wife was pregnant.

Intimate photos and gifs of Lin and a woman were posted on Weibo on Thursday (Nov 17), reports said. One gif showed them hugging in a hotel room.

The photos were posted by 'Detective Zhao', a popular Weibo author for celebrity gossip, who claimed they were taken in October.


Lin Dan and his wife Xie Xingfang, a former badminton star. She gave birth to a boy in Beijing on Nov 5, 2016. PHOTO: WEIBO


Model and actress Zhao Yaqi. PHOTO: 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.

The woman in the photos was identified as Zhao Yaqi, a model and actress.

The photos quickly attracted the attention of Chinese netizens and drew tens of thousands of comments.


Lin Dan apologised on Weibo on Thursday (Nov 17), after photos of him and a woman circulated online. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM WEIBO

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.