Sports World

Sun Yang: Ban against Chinese Olympic swimmer reduced to 4 years and 3 months; misses Tokyo Olympics

The ban on freestyle swimmer Sun Yang was reduced from eight years to four years and three months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas).

The ban against the three-time Chinese Olympic champion dates back to February, 2020 and means the swimmer will miss this summer’s Olympics in Tokyo.

A new Cas panel held the latest hearing after a Swiss Federal Tribunal ruling.

The 29-year-old missed a doping test in September 2018 and was given an eight-year ban for his second offence.

He was first cleared of wrongdoing by Fina, the swimming federation, in January 2019.

But after an appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) to Cas that decision was overturned.

Switzerland’s highest court set the ruling aside and the case was once again heard by Cas but with a different panel in place.

Sun had told an appeal hearing in November 2019 that he missed the doping test because testers failed to prove their identity when they arrived at his home.

He also denied a vial containing his blood samples was smashed with a hammer.

His first offence had seen him serve a three-month suspension in 2014 for taking prohibited stimulant Trimetazidine.

The new panel found Sun 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”.

It added: “The new panel considered that the circumstances surrounding the sample collection of 4-5 September 2018 merited a period of ineligibility at the lower end of the range: namely the addition of the three-month period (from 2014) to the four-year ban applicable in this second case.”

Sun’s lawyer Zhang Qihuai has claimed his client is a “victim of political posturing”.

Writing on Chinese social media on Wednesday, Zhang said: “I can only say forever: Sun Yang did not violate the rules and there were no violations detected in the results [from doping tests].

“Unfortunately for China and even the world, such an excellent athlete has fallen into the hands of international organisations manipulated by some people.”