SINGAPORE: 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, 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'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 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. - The Straits Times/Asia News Network