“An athlete with a smooth career may have a good one, but it’s the quality of being able to pull oneself together and stay level-headed even after being treated unfairly that defines a great athlete,” Sun said. “This case is destined to take a place in history (of anti-doping), and in my heart for the rest of my life.”
He explained why he requested CAS’ first public hearing this century.
“Individual athletes are always the underdogs when defending their legal rights in the face of unfair treatment by sports organizations,” he said. “That is why I insisted that the hearing be public. I only regret that it was not held much earlier, as I have been waiting too long.”
The bulk of the hearing was about whether or not the IDTM doping control officer — and her assistants — had proper credentials when they arrived to test Sun on Sept. 4, 2018. Sun said in the hearing that initially, he blindly accepted the credentials before realizing anything was allegedly awry.
“It’s a case of an athlete defending the basic rights and privacy that he is legally entitled. It’s not out of the question that anti-doping organizations demand from athletes full acceptance of and compliance with anti-doping test procedures,” he explained to Xinhua. “But anti-doping test officers must properly notify the athletes before conducting the procedures that they have the authority and accreditation to do so, as stipulated [in WADA’s International Standard for Testing And Investigations].”
Sun’s hearing ended with a rushed closing statement, in which he promised that video surveillance footage from the incident in question would be made public “soon.” He said he hadn’t planned ahead of time to disclose that information.
“That part was not in my prepared written speech though. I wanted to tell them that I had come all the way with nothing to hide and that everything I said in the court stood up to inspection. I would hope that the three anti-doping test officers in question could face me in person today.”
Sun wants that video released, in part, because of how the news of the incident broke. He blames the media outlet that made the initial report for “manipulating” public opinion.
“I can tell that some vicious force was manipulating the public opinion against me and even the whole Chinese swimming team during the world championships in Gwangju,” Sun said. “Accusing an athlete of violating anti-doping rules without proven evidence is extremely disrespectful to an athlete.”
Despite the strife of the last year, Sun added that he’s not concerned about how the decision will turn out. Further, regardless of the outcome of the hearing, Sun said he thinks his case will lead to stricter adherence to the rules on the part of anti-doping agencies.
“I’m not worried about the final decisions of arbitration. I’m confident that after today, all anti-doping test agencies will stick to the rules closely, which in turn will give much better protection of the legal rights and privacy to all athletes.”