Sun Yang’s CAS Hearing Postponed, Likely To End of October or Later

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) hearing in Sun Yang‘s ongoing anti-doping case has been postponed at least another month, per a CAS release today.

The appeal was brought by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) after an anti-doping panel cleared Sun of anti-doping rule violations back in January. The CAS release says that “due to unexpected personal circumstance, one of the parties was obliged to request a postponement of the hearing.” The release does not name which party requested the postponement, but does say the other parties assented to the request for postponement. The named parties in the release are WADA, the Chinese freestyler Sun, and FINA, the world’s governing body for swimming.

The hearing was originally scheduled for September of 2019. But the release says that the postponement will likely push that back at least another month. “A new hearing date will be fixed as soon as possible and but is unlikely to be before the end of October 2019,” the release reads.

Case Background

The case has been one of the bigger stories in swimming this year. Sun, the 27-year-old Chinese distance star and three-time Olympic champ, was accused of violating anti-doping rules in a testy interaction with doping control workers late on the evening of September 4, 2018.

Doping control officials arrived to perform an out-of-competition test on samples of Sun’s blood and urine. According to the Doping Panel’s decision document, Sun disputed the credentials of one of the doping control workers – the same worker who had been involved in an earlier anti-doping test in 2017. In that first 2017 test, Sun disputed the worker’s accreditation and authorization to be involved in the doping control test, and complained about the worker via the doping control form.

During the September 2018 test, Sun also said he believed that doping control worker was covertly taking photos and videos of Sun during the test. Sun ultimately disputed the worker’s credentials and refused to give urine samples. His blood sample had already been taken, and the ensuing dispute about what to do with the sample ended with the blood sample being destroyed. FINA said Sun’s bodyguard smashed the samples with a hammer while the doping control officer was on the phone, while Sun said the doping control workers told him he could remove the sample from its secure container and dispose of it.

FINA sought to sanction Sun for his actions, but an independent doping panel found that Sun had not committed an anti-doping rules violation. The panel agreed with Sun’s belief that the doping control worker was not properly accredited, and the panel also agreed with Sun’s case that the worker was surreptitiously taking photos or videos of him during the test, calling that behavior “highly improper and extremely unprofessional.”

WADA appealed the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and Sun requested a fully public hearing, citing transparency and a will to clear his name. Today’s CAS release says the public hearing will be just the second in CAS history. The first was a 1999 hearing in which swimmer Michelle Smith de Bruin challenged a ban for tampering with a urine sample. CAS upheld the standing ban in that case.

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4 years ago

If you’ve beat him before you can beat him again..

CT Swim Fan
4 years ago

If anyone in power really cared, the hearing would have already been held. Unbelievable that this is being dragged out for as long as it is.

4 years ago

Hmmmmmmm. So transparent.

4 years ago

Meaning FINA, CAS and China have not come to a financial agreement to drop the case.

Easy E
4 years ago

As much as I do not like Sun Yang and want to see Horton destroy him, I am not 100% convinced he is a *real* doper. He took a drug that is banned under some circumstances and was only newly banned at the time. And with the smashing incident, maybe he was an idiot reacting badly to a situation that was not being conducted according to proper procedure.

I do think that he is probably a cheater and at the very least he was trying hard to get an unfair advantage when he took those drugs that were only marginally illegal but if I were a juror on an American court, Id see reasonable doubt even though he probably… Read more »

Reply to  Easy E
4 years ago

American case law does not apply to the rest of the world. You need to educate yourself on this specific process. You’re voicing opinions based on a judicial system that doesn’t apply here.

4 years ago

Soon it will be pushed till post-Tokyo.

4 years ago

So where are the surreptitiously taken photos and videos? In all seriousness, however, if this stands, then anyone can destroy samples or refuse a test because he/she believes that the worker doesn’t have the valid credentials.

CT Swim Fan
Reply to  Jared Anderson
4 years ago

I’m confused about this. Was this the first time these particular people were drug testing an athlete? If not, what exactly did they not have that they were supposed to have? Aren’t there safeguards in place that don’t include doing the things Sun and his “posse” did, just in case there is a disagreement over credentials.

Reply to  CT Swim Fan
4 years ago

It was not the first time. This is actually what bothers me the most. They had come almost exactly a year prior to test Sun, he complained then about their lack of credentials (but took the test), and when they came back, they didn’t solve that problem. It seems to me that if the athletes raise concerns about the status of credentials, there should be an easy fix, right? If it were any athlete not Sun, we’d all be pissed about the fact that a year earlier, he raised concerns about the safety and security of his test, and that those concerns were (apparently) ignored.

I’ve posted on multiple places on the net – whatever everyone’s feelings are about Sun… Read more »

4 years ago

CAS too liberal.

13 % Chinese person
Reply to  Kristiina
4 years ago

Bring on the Junta.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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