Sun Yang’s doctor Ba Zhen has suspension extended after treating Sun during Asian Games

Ba Zhen, the suspended doctor of Chinese distance swimmer Sun Yang, has had his suspension extended by FINA after he reportedly violated the rules by treating Sun at last fall’s Asian Games, when Ba was still suspended.

Sun, the Olympic champ and world record-holding distance man, failed a doping test last spring at the Chinese National Championships. The Chinese federation quietly hit Sun with a 3-month ban that still allowed him to compete in the Asian Games at the end of the summer.

The failed test didn’t even come to light until well after the Asian Games had finished, but the test results showed Trimetazidine, a prescription drug that was only added to the WADA banned list in January of 2014, just a few months before Sun’s positive test.

At the same time, the Chinese federation gave a stiffer penalty to Ba, suspending him for a year. That suspension would have ended next week.

But according to FINA, Ba traveled to Incheon, South Korea for last fall’s Asian Games and treated Sun while there, violating the terms of his suspension. Here’s the official account, from the FINA press release:

Initially suspended from May 17, 2014 to May 16, 2015. Dr. Ba Zhen has violated DC Rule 10.10 (status during ineligibility), by travelling on a private basis to the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon (KOR) and by helping to rehabilitate his athlete during that competition. This was done without the previous knowledge or consent from the Chinese National Swimming Team officials.

As a result, Ba’s suspension was reformatted to run from September 28, 2014 to September 27, 2015, meaning he will be under suspension through this summer’s World Championships.

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I’m sorry, but Sun Yang is a grown a– man now. He should have some kind of repercussions for continuing to work with a doctor suspended by the Chinese federation. Am I alone in this? If you are trying to stay clean or appear to be, wouldn’t you separate yourself from someone like Ba?

Joel Lin

Coach Erik, well taken on your point but there isn’t a written rule to point to for Sun the athlete to be punished for this. It does seem otherworldly this doctor is not banned through the Olympics at least considering this is a second offense. If this were any other swimmer the ban would have been 18-24 months, and if this were any other swimmer’s doctor the ban would be years.

It took FINA a year to do something about Dr. Ba violating the ban at an international event? This leads me to wonder if FINA just had no choice under duress but to do something about a violation this brazen under their noses.

Gina Rhinestone

Crime and Punishment is still something we grapple with & rightly so . The extreme is execution in which China proudly leads the world , followed by Iraq, Iran , Saudi Arabia & The USA .Other finalists are Somalia, Pakistan & the Sudan .

So this is somewhere down the list . If only Fyador had had a chapter on Sports , I’d be able to navigate it better .

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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