Chinese swimmer Sun Yang will miss the Tokyo Olympics, which are less then a month away now. Yang was found violating anti-doping rules by the Court of Arbitration for Sports on Tuesday, who handed him a ban of four years and three months. The decision came after a three day high profile hearing by the CAS, and the suspension was backdated to 28th February 2020.
The Tokyo Olympics, which were postponed for one year, will now start on 23rd July and the swimming portion of the Olympics start on 24th July. Sun Yang holds the 1500m world record in freestyle swimming.
Sun Yang has been suspended before in 2014 and 2018
Yang was suspended last year in February by CAS for eight years, almost ending his career. He was banned because a member of his entourage smashed a vial of Sun’s blood collected when doping investigators visited his home unexpectedly.
This ban was however overturned, when Yang appealed at the Switzerland Supreme Court. Evidence was found that there was alleged bias against the swimmer, thus making the trial unfair.
Sun was also banned for 3 months in 2014, but has always maintained his innocence during questioning. The reigning 200m freestyle Olympic champion and 11 time world champion maintains that the doping testers were not authorised or qualified.
A New, Unbiased CAS Panel found Yang guilty; he will not be Allowed at the Tokyo Olympics
A new unbiased panel was been appointed who found Yang guilty of “evading, refusing or failing to submit to sample collection by an athlete” and “tampering or alleged tampering with any part of doping control by an athlete or other person”.
The panel “found to its comfortable satisfaction” that Sun had “acted recklessly” and committed two anti-doping rule violations when an unsuccessful attempt was made to collect blood and urine samples at his residence in September 2018.
The International Swimming Federation acknowledged the ban. “FINA will enforce the CAS award according to its terms, and in accordance with its obligations as a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Code,” said the FirstPost website.
WADA welcomed the ban. “Today’s ruling reconfirms WADA’s position in relation to the original FINA ruling, which was that there were a number of points that were inconsistent with the (anti-doping) code. Today’s CAS ruling validates those concerns.”
Yung will now set his sight on the 2024 Olympics
Sun’s ban of four years and three months will end just before the 2024 Paris Olympics, by which time Sun will be 32. He will try again to qualify for the Olympics in Paris.
The Chinese swimmer has been in constant controversy for his behaviour since 2013, and has been denounced by several of his opposition, including Australia’s Mack Horton, Great Britain’s Duncan Scott and France’s Camille Lacourt.
With the Tokyo Olympics only 30 days away, Sun will not be seen in Japan, but hopes that he will be back after his ban is over.