State of Swiss Federal Tribunal in Limbo as Sun Yang’s Appeal Deadline Passes

Last Saturday marked a month since the Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport handed Sun Yang an eight-year ban, meaning his window to file an appeal to a higher court theoretically has passed – though his lawyers vowed to appeal, we have yet to receive confirmation they have formally done so.

The higher court, the Swiss Federal Tribunal, is unsurprisingly being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a press release last week, the court has suspended some operations while keeping others on track.

The court issued the following statement (translated from German):

“The coronavirus pandemic has further implications for the judicial system in Switzerland. The Federal Council ordered an extension of the standstill in civil and administrative proceedings over Easter.”

“Excluded from the suspension of time limits are all proceedings to which the suspension of time limits over Easter days does not apply under the applicable federal or cantonal law. These are in particular criminal proceedings, arbitration proceedings and summary civil proceedings, administrative proceedings in the first instance, administrative appeal proceedings or proceedings with suspensive effect or other precautionary measures in accordance with the Administrative Justice Administration Act of the Canton of Glarus. In these proceedings, the deadlines continue to run regardless of the coronavirus pandemic.

Expected end on 20 April 2020.

Insofar as the extended standstill applies, it applies not only to periods calculated in days, weeks or months, but also to periods set by the authorities with a specific end date between 21 March and 19 April 2020. In this case, the period ends on the first working day after the end of the standstill, i.e., as things stand at present on 20 April 2020. In all other respects, the effects of the standstill are governed by the applicable procedural law.

No effects on hearing dates.

In principle, the Federal Council ordinance has no effect on the dates of hearings and the service of judgements, decisions and orders.

It’s not clear exactly where Sun’s case falls, but it seems likely that his deadline to appeal did not change.

With the Olympics pushed back a year, some have been quick to speculate that Sun’s window to return for the next Games could be open. It’s highly unlikely that his ban could get reduced from eight years to just one, however, particularly because he was found to be a second-time offender.

Appealing to the Swiss Federal Tribunal, however, is not the only option. New WADA rules are set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2021, and could create add a loophole for Sun to appeal to FINA for a reduced ban.

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God I hope his suspension is lifted then we can all recognize that this system is hopelessly broken.


So you want the system to malfunction so you can complain that it malfunctioned? Hrmmm.

JP Swam

Might as well let Ben Johnson run the 100 or give Armstrong back the TDF. Once a cheater always a cheater


Opportunity for the ultimate cheetah energy ad campaign.


April 1 was yesterday


He will swim in Tokyo. He will win the 400 and 800 and maybe the 200 if Rapsys messes again. The system is broken.


Battle for 200 : Rapsys vs Seliskar, battle for 400 Rapsys vs Kieran Smith vs Horton. I see no Yang here, only Thor can lift the hammer, Sun not anymore.


I like Seliskar and all, but you don’t think Lewis, Scott, or Haas are equal contenders?


Everyone you mentioned is capable to win, but : Duncan Scott is a monster but often underperforms under pressure ( like my idol Morozov ), Haas hasn’t swum well since 2017, Lewis is new on the scene and I agree can be a good contender.

Mr Piano

You say he didn’t swim well in 2018 but he managed to fire a 1:43.7 relay split in the 200 free to chase down Australia.

In 2019 he kinda ate it in the 200 at NCAAs but that wasn’t a lack of form obviously since he split 1:29.6 on a relay two days before, he was just probably exhausted from taking his 500 out so fast.

Yea he didn’t advance to the final in 2019 but neither did Seliskar, so why include Seliskar in your match up but not Haas? Sometimes people just have an off season, and Haas has only had 1 off season in the past 4 years.


Seli is the most recent national champion to qualify for a big meet ( 2019 Worlds), that 200 second half ( with the scream ) was amazing. We’ll see


they are as strong to be contenders …..


800 is impossible😑


So, is this it for Sun Yang….8 year ban stands…career over???????
Now lets look at those medals…

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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