WADA Appeals to Court of Arbitration for Sport in Sun Yang Decision

The World Anti-Doping Agency has filed an appeal in the Court of Arbitration for Sport against FINA over its decision not to reprimand Sun Yang over his now-infamous drug testing incident earlier this year, the CAS confirmed to SwimSwam Wednesday.

The organization declined to provide any further details, such as when the appeal hearing will take place, citing the process’ confidentiality. Sun, 27, is reportedly facing a lifetime ban should WADA successfully appeal the decision.

Sun, the world record holder in the men’s 1500 free and three-time Olympic gold medalist, nearly missed an out-of-competition doping test on September 4th last year. He made the testers wait outside of his home for almost an hour, and then challenged whether the officials were genuine testers from the International Doping Tests and Management lab.

Reports alleging that Sun’s mother, after he broke a number of out-of-competition drug testing protocols, ordered security guards to smash a vial of his blood taken in a nearby clubhouse, according to witnesses. Dr. Ba Zhen, who supports Sun (and who like Sun has a history with doping), reportedly contacted Dr. Han Zhaoqi, the head of the Zhejiang Anti-Doping Center. Han told FINA that the nurse present didn’t have the necessary paperwork, and at a January 3rd hearing, the FINA panel ruled in Sun’s favor, stating that they would “never know” what had happened.

WADA, however, had been claimed to be ‘furious’ over the ruling. They had 21 days following “the last day on which any other party in the case could have appealed” or 21 days “after WADA’s receipt of the complete file relating to the decision” to file the appeal case.

Sun’s lawyer Zhang Qihuai issued a statement to Xinhua News following The Sunday Times’ initial report, threatening to sue over defamation: “We reserve the right to file a lawsuit against the relevant international media which reports the incident,” the statement read.  It also accused The Times of reporting the news with a “malign intention” and “dubious motives,” and “infringing upon Sun’s privacy and reputation.” Shortly thereafter, the Chinese Swimming Federation published a statement of support for Sun, backing the defamation claims.

Following the intense public backlash to FINA’s decision, the organization issued a statement saying it “would not consider further speculation or hearsay on the matter.”

Sun previously served a three-month doping suspension for a positive test for the substance Trimetazidine in May of 2014. The suspension was only announced after it was served. Sun has also been prone to previous emotional outbursts, including a physical altercation with a Brazilian female swimmer at the 2015 World Aquatics Championships, and the later smashing of a locker inside the locker room at the same meet.

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Mr Piano

Good. I don’t care who you are, or how many records or gold medals you have, the fact that he almost completely got away with this and could still get away is disgusting.

Jason

It is like a bad reality show….

NCSwimDad

This is reaching Lance Armstrong levels now. Too much smoke, too many tests that got tossed for technicalities, too many too short suspensions that got served before anyone knew about them and at a time when no big competitions were going on, too many fights with female swimmers in warm-up pools. And on and on it goes.

Only question for me at this point is do his medals and records get stripped.

Spotted Zebra

@NCSwimDad: I agree with you regarding the question you raised about stripping Sun Yang’s medals. Although many athletes have likely been affected over the years by Yang’s drug-assisted performances, the race I keep thinking about is the London 2012 1500m freestyle final; I wonder whether Canadian swimmer Ryan Cochrane was the rightful gold medallist in that race, and I regret that Cochrane might have been unjustly denied his moment to stand atop the Olympic podium.

Barney Rubble

Sun Yang wasn’t the only cheat in that final.

Mr Piano

Grant Hackett deserves his record back imo, although I know the substance he was talking was legal back then.

Correlation

To be honest, Sun’s latest incident really reminds me of the stories of Hackett, not about doping but about anger control. Hackett was always involved in violence incidents and was diagnosed with mental problems. It seems Sun is also struggling with similar thing and I don’t know whether Denis Cotterell’s training method has something to do with that. Both his students appear to be under huge pressure.

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majors in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swims distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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