As reported on by SwimSwam yesterday Chinese Olympic champion Sun Yang was involved in a minor motor vehicle accident where he was found to be driving without a licence. In the initial reports it was stated that the potential consequence for the violation was a possible fine of 200 yuan ($32.78) to 2,000 yuan, and can also result in detention of up to 15 days.
Today it has been reported by Reuters that Sun has been fined an undisclosed amount, but that he will be detained for the next seven days. Officially he will be under “administrative detention” which means that he will be held in a detention centre for the seven days.
Sun apologized today through Weibo, which is the Chinese equivalent to Twitter, “I should have been a role model as an athlete and a public figure but I failed my responsibility.”
“I am deeply sorry for what I have done and will reflect on my behavior. Because I have been focusing on training and competition, I had only a hazy knowledge of the law, which led to my mistake,” he added.
“After this incident, I will strengthened my knowledge and study of the law to prevent such a thing from happening again. I hope that everyone will take this as a warning and give me an opportunity to correct my mistake.”
The story of Sun’s accident was the third most commented topic on Weibo on Monday.
Although the detention is part of a possible consequence for driving without a licence, the harshness of the plenty may be the result of public pressure on Chinese law enforcement. Reuters is also reporting that there is a great deal of pressure for law enforcement to punish the crimes of those considered ‘elite’ as there has been the wide spread opinion that they are often let off without being punished.