International Swimmers React to Sun Yang’s 8-year Doping Ban

As the fallout from the news of Sun Yang’s 8-year ban continues, many swimmers have taken to social media to express their views on the controversy. Included in that list is Olympic champion Chad le Clos, who just yesterday was quoted in an interview with The Associated Press saying “He (Sun Yang) should be banned. It’s as simple as that”.

Le Clos came second to Sun Yang in the 200m freestyle at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and believes he should “get back” the gold medal following Sun’s ban. Today le Clos appeared on CNN, which you can read more about here.

Editor’s note: SwimSwam has searched multiple social media networks, including Weibo, to find reactions from Asian swimmers, but so far have been unable to find any. We will update if and when we do.

Former swimmer and Olympic gold medalist Rebecca Adlington also took to Twitter to express her thoughts. In 2016, Adlington called for a ‘full investigation’ to be carried out in swimming following doping allegations in Russian and Chinese swimming.

At the time she said, “We know what it feels like to step up on the blocks at an Olympic Games and look sideways at the other swimmers in the next lanes and be thinking ‘are you clean? Are you not? Is something going to come out afterwards?

She added that a “full-investigation” is the only way to say “the sport is clean”.

American swimmers Cody Miller and Andrew Wilson also posted tweets about the news, with Wilson saying he is “shocked” that “they (CAS) did the right thing”.

A host of British swimmers have also commented on the news from today, led by Olympic champion Adam Peaty. In an statement, Peaty said “I’m pleased with today’s verdict. I believe a ban was the right decision. I feel strongly about clean sport and I feel a responsibility as an athlete to be true to myself, my sport, my country and the next generation of athletes who look to us for inspiration”.

Duncan Scott, who refused to stand on the podium with Sun Yang at the World Aquatics Championship in Gwangju last July, has also released a statement. It reads: “I fully respect and support the decision that has been made and announced by the Court of Arbitration for Sport this morning. I believe in clean sport and a level playing field for all athletes and I trust in CAS and WADA to uphold these values”.

James Guy, who came 4th in the 200m freestyle in Rio – an event which Sun Yang won gold – also tweeted about the news:

A host of other swimmers have shared articles on their social media accounts including Phillip HeintzSarah VaseyBlake Pieroni and Shane Ryan.

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Can we get a comment from Connor Dwyer


Same for Jack and half of the Russians


And why do you TAA & DBSwims want a comment from other banned swimmers?


Its a joke, relax. All my comments like this are meant to be taken as humor

Don Megerle

Classic, made me laugh out loud!!!!


How did fina even allow him to swim in Rio?


The 2019 world champs are even more egregious. Not only was he allowed to swim despite it being after the vial incident, but he is keeping his medals from it as well… WTF

IK the explanation is that he wasn’t actually caught doping but with his previous history + the fact that the incident that got him banned being before the world champs it’s inexcusable

I now that everyone wanted him out of Worlds, but it would be a really bad precedent to set to find a swimmer ‘not guilty’ in a doping hearing and then leave them suspended anyway. This is different than the Jack case in that Sun was found ‘not guilty’ before Worlds, while Jack hasn’t even completed her initial punishment process.

They should have just found a way to complete the appeals before Worlds. That would have been the most fair to all involved. 9 months should be plenty of time to complete a process like this.


I agree with what you say but now that his been found guilty he should be stripped of his 3019 world champs medals now


Cornel’s magic money bag!

The perfect high elbow

Even tho the Sun Yang saga is over, Chad le clos is delusional in wanting the rio 2016 gold because of the recent blood vial ban. He needs to remember what Phelps teached him during rio with the butterly fiasco: ‘winners care about winning, losers care about winners’. Also cheating double kick cody coming to talk anything about cheating… lmao




👌🏻 For the 1st point only

Ted Stickles

Did you even watch Cody’s race

Big Kicker

Agree with your first point, but I think we can all agree that even intentional extra kicks (which I’m skeptical was the case) is a VERY different offense than intentional doping.

Frankly, I’ll occasionally one-hand touch a turn too but I don’t see myself being banned for 8 years anytime soon.


I’m sure the officials from the 2013 NCAA’s would have something to say about your skepticism.


hit him with the double lifetime ban!!!!1!!


WRONG. Intentional Dolphin Kicks is just as bad, IF NOT WORSE than doping. There is an extremely clear and tangible advantage to taking extra kicks. I’d rather lose to a doper than a dolphin kicker. Time for officials to grow some and punish the cheaters

Old Man Chalmers

Doping results in biological changes to the body and affects each race in the same way, so a ban is justified. extra dolphin kicks is an example of breaking the rules of the stroke and if done once, only affects one race. if done once, it is most likely a mistake, but it is cheating if done on multiple occasions. as the latter is a case by case scenario, a dq is enough. cody miller is a cheater because he has done it on multiple occasions and has gotten away with it for the most part. doping has a more widespread effect than breaking stroke rules, so doping is worse


The kick you speak of can be DQd by two refs at the meet. Its a simple rule violation. How can you compare that to intentionally taking performance enhancing drugs and hiding that? Doping takes a cabal of mistrust, people, states, organization, sourcing or creating and hiding the illegal substances, it undermines the publics trust in the sport. The extra kick is a nuance to a stroke amounting to pulling a fast one.


Nope. World Records have been broken and many medals have been stolen because of the dolphin kick: Cameron Van Der Burgh, Cody Miller, Kosuke Kitajima, and many others cheated just as bad even if they didn’t dope. Just because its easier to catch doesn’t make it less bad, especially when officials rarely make the call. Also any intentional violation of the rule is cheating. You could say doping is a “simple rule violation.