World Champion Ning Zetao Dismissed From Chinese National Team

Rumors hit news outlets last year regarding Chinese 100m freestyle world champion Ning Zetao having been kicked off the national team, but, at the time, the 23-year-old denied the reports.  However, a memo was leaked today from China’s State General Administration of Sports Management Center, which plainly spells out 3 specific violations that have indeed led to Ning being sent back to his Chinese Navy swimming team.  Charged with refusing to participate in a relay event, failing to obey national team competition rules and working as an unauthorized spokesman, the leaked memo appearing on Sports SINA clearly states that Zetao has been dismissed from the Chinese national team.

Last year, Ning entered a sponsorship agreement with Chinese dairy brand Yili pre-Rio, a brand which is in direct competition with the national swimming team’s official milk sponsor, China Mengniu Dairy. The young star also signed a partnership deal with Adidas, one which was supposedly unauthorized by Chinese Swimming and also one in direct conflict with the team’s official apparel sponsor, 361 Degrees.

Although Ning has been removed from the Chinese National Swimming team, the act doesn’t carry the same destructive impact as it might in other countries, whereby, we should still expect Ning to compete at this year’s World Championships.

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Uberfan
4 years ago

Way for Chinese swimming sticking to their rules of it was USA swimming and Ning was Phelps he’d get a strongly written letter and a finger wave

dude 2.0
Reply to  Uberfan
4 years ago

?? Dude has failed a drug test before. You are kidding yourself if you think swimming China is more strict than USA swimming.

Pvdh
Reply to  Uberfan
4 years ago

Phelps got a ban from Worlds for a DUI

Uberfan
Reply to  Pvdh
4 years ago

Then he got an invite

Coach John
Reply to  Uberfan
4 years ago

from FINA, not from USA Swimming… criticize the right federations at least…. these are NGO’s that are disciplining athletes… not international federations

G.I.N.A
Reply to  Pvdh
4 years ago

No he did not .The 6 month ban expired before Worlds . MP’s legal team put the voluntary exclusion to the Judge as part of the defence / plea / contrition deal.

caleb
Reply to  G.I.N.A
4 years ago

“Voluntary”

Joel Lin
4 years ago

Cardinal sin was likely the Adidas sponsorship. If they let that slide, the floodgates open for Chinese nationals that are Olympic medalists look to the west for individual commercial opportunities. And not just swimmers…all athletes in all sports.

It’s not irrational that there could be individuals sponsored by Adidas (or other) which are different brands from the national team sponsors. Many US national team members are away from Arena. China clearly wants to quash the professionalism of their Olympians.

NEWTOSWIMSWAM
Reply to  Joel Lin
4 years ago

Just returned from a business trip to Asia. The consensus there was that the main reason was the huge dairy deal. The dairy war between Yili and Mengniu is like the cola war here between Coke & Pepsi, ruthless to the extreme. Of course they would find a few other reasons to kick off a world champion off their national team.

GCoach
Reply to  Joel Lin
4 years ago

The REAL Cardinal sin was not doing what the Chinese National Team told him to do, hands down, that’s the way they operate….

Marley09
4 years ago

This guy is now my fav. Chinese swimmer.

marklewis
4 years ago

Ning Z. is the Pretty Boy of Chinese Swimming.

Give him all the modeling jobs and sponsorships.

A good way to get attention for his sport in China.

Taa
4 years ago

He will be at USC with Salo by next week

fhyj
Reply to  Taa
4 years ago

for training?

Madeline
Reply to  Taa
4 years ago

Really? Are u serious?

Christina
Reply to  Taa
4 years ago

Are you sure? What will he do there?

AvidSwimFan
4 years ago

Seriously they kicked him off over a sponsorship not for bad behavior or doping? Disappointed.

Admin
Reply to  AvidSwimFan
4 years ago

AvidSwimFan – and for refusing to swim on a relay. That counts as “bad behavior” in my book…

AvidSwimFan
Reply to  Braden Keith
4 years ago

True. It just sounds to me like that was pulled out to justify the dismissal.

SwimInsider
Reply to  Braden Keith
4 years ago

They wanted him to give up his 100free and instead swim the 200free relay (2 events were at the same night) on the Olympic trial because Sun Yang didn’t want to. Ning has never trained for 200free

wang
Reply to  SwimInsider
4 years ago

sun yang had a foot injury at that time

Dustin
Reply to  AvidSwimFan
4 years ago

The real drug cheats Chen Xinyi and Sun Yang are still on the team

Lindsay
Reply to  Dustin
4 years ago

Seriously, Ning is the real drug cheat, what I know is that he got two years ban for drug test positive.

SWIMSWAM FAN
Reply to  Lindsay
4 years ago

Ning got two years ban in 2011, 17 or 18 years old, not a member of the national team, didn’t have abilities to compete yet–the best result was 8th place in a natinal game, before he started to train for 100 and 50m freestyles. And for what he was banned for, clenbuterol, only gets warning in China today. And for all it was just an accident to have eaten polluted pork, because in 2011 China, clenbuterol was really a serious problem even pork in the supermarket may have clenbuterol because pigs were fed up with it to get less fat. For the most part, clenbuterol contributes nothing to a sprinter. And he was thinner as a teenager, there’s no need… Read more »

G.P.
Reply to  SWIMSWAM FAN
4 years ago

Ning got a one year ban not two years.

Swimmma
Reply to  Lindsay
4 years ago

Hello Lindsay- 1. Ning Zetao got one year ban not two, and it was becoz if clenbuterol which doesn’t even get a warning nowadays- and it certainly does not help in sprint swimming.
2. Sun Yang was caught using Trimexazine which helps significantly with distance swimming- remember Sun Yang never competed 1500free internationally ever afterwards. Self explanatory.

Admin
Reply to  Swimmma
4 years ago

swimmma – your statement about clenbuterol is incorrect. Two volleyball players, in fact, are currently under provisional suspension after testing positive for clenbuterol at a major tournament. https://volleymob.com/second-player-fails-doping-test-at-grand-prix-could-food-be-to-blame/

Raining Day
4 years ago

He deserves it.

Brian
4 years ago

Funny fact is Yili is the sponsor of Chinese Olympic team, and Mengniu is the sponsor of Chinese swimming team. The head of Chinese swimming center reportedly has close personal ties with Mengniu.
I think the whole thing is more complicated than it seems to be. The biggest sin of Ning Zetao seems to me is that he got in the way of the corrupted Chinese gov officials.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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