World Record Holder Sun Yang Was Banned After Positive Doping Test

Chinese swimmer Sun Yang was banned for three months this summer, beginning on May 17th, 2014, after a positive test for the substance Trimetazidine, FINA announced this morning.

Sun tested positive for the specified stimulant at the Chinese National Championships and was quietly given a three-month suspension that was expired in time for him to compete and win gold in the 400 and 1500 meter individual freestyles, and the 400 free relay at the Asian Games in late September.

In addition, the Chinese Swimming Association suspended Sun’s doctor, Ba Zhen, for one year.

Trimetazidine is a prescription drug used to treat angina, or plaque buildup in the arteries; and in some countries to treat ringing in the ears and dizziness. It was only added to the WADA banned list in January of 2014.

As a World Anti-Doping Code “specified substance,” Sun was given the opportunity to establish how the substance entered his body and that it was not intended to enhance his sport performance. According to CHINADA deputy director Zhao Jia, Sun “proved with sufficient evidence that he did not intend to cheat…but his failure to inform the doping control official should be punished all the same.”’

Sun is the current World Record holder in the men’s 1500 meter freestyle and won four medals (including two golds) at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

Updated with comment from CHINADA deputy director.

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Well…some are more equal than the others.


I assume this hearing was held by the Chinese Anti-doping Association some six months ago. This is a big blow to the credibility of CHINADA in my opinion. I don’t necessarily disagree with the three month suspension, there is plenty of precedent if the defendant can present legitimate medical reasons, but the lack of transparency is the problem.


It was never held. He was tested positive positive in an internal Chinese game, and then Chinese Swimming Association, a governmental bureau suspended him immediately. The news was popular on Chinese internet at that time. Then three months later, he proved himself innocent. The Swimming Association made a formal statement on Chinese national channel for this case. I remembered this very clear several years ago. I’m Chinese btw. I’m not even a fan of swimming games, i believe most people who keep tweeting on Internet just like me, feel this is king of a bully for Sun. Because i remember the time that when Sun was in suspension, Chinese social media and new letter has lots of negative comment on… Read more »


Mack Horton did not mention his name, he did not mention anyone’s name. What made him think it was aimed at him?

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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