Sun Yang Talks Doping Scandal At Post-400 Free Worlds Press Conference

During the first finals session of the 2015 FINA World Championships, we saw China’s Sun Yang clinch the gold medal in the men’s 400m freestyle.  Sun got to the wall first in a time of 3:42.58, beating out strong showings by Britain’s James Guy and Canada’s Ryan Cochrane for silver and bronze.

Not all of the news post-race was exactly positive, however, as Sun’s doping cloud continues to follow him all the way to Kazan.  Sun was banned for three months in the summer of 2014 due to a positive doping test at last year’s Chinese National Championships.  Today, Sun let the media know exactly how he feels about that.

During a press conference after finals today, Sun Yang expressed, “For the doping cases, I don’t know why the media paid so much attention to this. The world media seems to think that whenever the Chinese get a good result, we are doping. We are training and working hard, just like athletes in countries all over the world.”

Sun further diverted attention to other situations, saying, “Athletes have been caught doping in other countries, like Australia, but not much is made of that and I think it’s disrespectful to China.”  Sun Yang may be referring to the recent case of Australia’s Kylie Palmer who pulled out of worlds due to a controversial test dating back to 2013.

Regarding his own case, Sun Yang mentions the word ‘mistake’, a word common to those in a defensive position when faced with the scientific proof of a positive doping test. “As athletes, we are working very hard and of course, there are times when get injured and sometimes we take things we don’t know about and it’s a genuine mistake,” Sun said. He continued, “I hope the media all over the world can have a fair attitude to Chinese athletes and treat us fairly.”

Sun Yang is slated to swim a full freestyle schedule this meet, which includes the 200m, 800m and 1500m freestyle events.

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6 years ago

That’s a great result after what he has been through for the last years. I am in awe.
You are my hero, Sun.

6 years ago

“Athletes have been caught doping in other countries, like Australia, but not much is made of that and I think it’s disrespectful to China.”

It because Sun Yang escape with light punishment, 3 months ban while other athletes got heavier punishment.

But to be honest, Sun Yang doping case is very interesting one as theroar pointed out.

‘However, this case is not as clear cut as swimmer takes illegal stimulant, gets caught, gets short ban based on a half-baked excuse from sympathetic national board, carries on as normal.
In Swimming World Magazine’s analysis of the case, they reveal Sun Yang was suffering from chest pains three days before the Chinese Nationals – where he won, and was later… Read more »

swim extra
6 years ago

Trimetazidine is still on the FINA banned list for 2015. He didn’t report it so you have to presume if he fails to report it he is trying to hide the fact. It is not as if he can claim that he forgot about it.

Justice Kang
6 years ago

Actually in an article by “” –Can doping ever be a mistake dated 26/3/215 enlighten us on the muddy situation on Sun Yang at that time..He is innocent ! Check up and think about it! Appreciate his performance and enjoy the games.

Kirk Nelson
6 years ago

“The world media seems to think that whenever the Chinese get a good result, we are doping”

Well, gee, this isn’t the greatest argument when it turns out that you actually WERE doping!!

Reply to  Kirk Nelson
6 years ago

I never suspected Sun Yang of doping before was caught. But now that this has happened, are we going to assume that every time he swims, he’s doping? I think that’s what he’s trying to say. I think he was referring to the situation now. Huge difference between “were doping” and “are doping”.

6 years ago

Sun Yang will always be a former doper and he should be asharmed of that. But I do think it was unneccesary of all the media attention. I agree with him completely when he says that China gets so much suspicion for doping yet swimmers like Kylie Palmer get almost no attention for her doping. In the past decade Sun Yang is the only star Chinese swimmer to be caught doping yet people always assume Chinese swimmers dope. I agree fully that it is disrespectful to China. For example after Ye Shiwen’s 400 im in 2012 the media was abuzz with doping allegations. While on the other hand Katie Ledecky’s breakout 800 gold medal only received praise and admiration (I… Read more »

Victor P
Reply to  Deraj
6 years ago

Several things to note on that. First, the charges on Ye Shiwen to me seem more suspicious considering the nature in which she won the 400IM and set the WR in London. Her 58.68 final 100 was faster than some of the men competing in the 400IM final (Michael Phelps at his peak in the Beijing Olympics swam 56.79 for the final leg – the same guy who swam 1:42.9 for the 200 free at those Olympics). Ye’s final 100 was 3.65s faster than Beisel’s final 100 and Beisel’s final 100 was 3rd fastest in the final. The performance alone would not be cause for unqualified suspicion, but then Ye only swims 1:57.3 in the 4×200 relay, and 2 +… Read more »

6 years ago

It was the team’s fault for not putting trimetazidine on its Chinese version of banned list before handing it out to athletes. For Sun Yang who doesn’t really read English himself, he did everything he could to avoid the situation.

6 years ago

Sun Yang is disingenuous: he took an illegal substance and was caught. As to the rap on Chinese swimmers, it is no mystery: yes, swimmers from other nations doped, but only China in the 1990s and East Germany before did it systematically with their female swimmers (Italy may have come close in 2000 with its men). Furthermore, when he got caught he got a gentle rap on the hand!

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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