The Associated Press reports that FINA supported an appeal by Sun Yang that would have thrown out his anti-doping case before his November Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) appeal hearing.
The AP reports that federal court documents show an appeal by Sun’s lawyers alleging a conflict of interest with WADA lead prosecutor Richard Young. Young had previously worked on FINA’s legal commission, but resigned from that post in February 2019. According to The Associated Press, Sun’s attorneys – supported by FINA – accused Young of having a conflict of interest and appealed to the Swiss Federal Tribunal. Had Young been removed from the case over the alleged conflict, the WADA appeal could have missed a deadline, allowing CAS to decline to hear the appeal and leave Sun free from any sanctions.
Sun’s case stems from a September 2018 out-of-competition doping control test. The Chinese Olympic champ challenged the credentials of the doping control officers and did not provide a urine sample. His challenge of the testers authorization caused a dispute over a blood sample he’d already given that night, and the sample was ultimately destroyed by one of Sun’s guards while removing it from the secure container.
FINA originally sought a ban against Sun, but an independent FINA doping panel cleared him. WADA appealed the ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which had a fully public hearing last November. The CAS decision has been delayed by translation issues from that hearing. A previous press release said a decision wouldn’t come earlier than mid-January 2020, and The Associated Press reports that a verdict is “expected within days.”