Yesterday, Chinese state-run media outlet Xinhua reported that a Swiss Tribunal overturned an eight-year ban on distance swimmer Sun Yang.
As a refresher, multi-Olympic champion Sun was handed an 8-year ban by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) this past February. The case revolved around an out-of-competition doping control test in which 29-year-old Sun destroyed the samples, claiming that the test-takers were unofficial and improperly identified agents.
Sun had since appealed the 8-year CAS ban to the Tribunal Arbitral du Sport (TAS).
You can read a comprehensive background on the case in our report from yesterday here.
The World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) response to the TAS decision reiterated that “WADA clearly prevailed on the substance of the case as it was able to show that there were a number of aspects of the original FINA decision that were incorrect under the World Anti-Doping Code and the related International Standard for Testing and Investigations”
That statement hinted to the fact that something non-factual was perhaps in play with TAS’ overturning decision, a concept which was indeed brought to light through the Swiss Tribunal’s official decision verbiage.
Per The New York Times, the Swiss federal court’s decision came after lawyers for Sun presented evidence that the chairman of the three-member panel that issued Sun’s ban in February, Franco Frattini, had made racist comments about China on social media.
“This yellow face Chinese monster smiling while torturing a small dog, deserves the worst of the hell!!!” the CAS Chair tweeted in 2019 in response to an unverified video of an unknown market seller, per Xinhua.
The year before the Italian tweeted, “Hell forever for those b*****d sadic (sic) Chinese.” (Xinhua)
Wednesday WADA stated, “WADA will take steps to present its case robustly again when the matter returns to the CAS panel, which will be chaired by a different president.”