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.