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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monsterbashet
6 years ago

NOOOOOOoooooooo!

bad
6 years ago

Well…some are more equal than the others.

newswim
6 years ago

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.

newswim
Reply to  Braden Keith
6 years ago

Perhaps but this article suggests it was case back log and procedural issues that caused the “delay” announcement. This all might be true but it doesn’t help China or Sun’s image.
http://gazette.com/china-delays-announcement-of-sun-yangs-doping-ban/article/feed/181815

FAIRSWIM
Reply to  newswim
6 years ago

I am not a fan of Sun Yang, who is an enormous talent but sadly has shown his lack of carefulness and discipline in numerous well-documented cases. Same (or worse) can be said to Michael, who I am a huge fan of. Nevertheless, to see the bigotry and ignorance by some of comments every time these kinds of story come out, is mind-boggling and unfortunate. newswim – with all due respect, what does CHINADA stand for?

newswim
Reply to  FAIRSWIM
6 years ago

Chinese Anti-Doping Association…..CHINADA is the commonly used acronym. Similar to USADA for USA Anti-Doping Association.

FAIRSWIM
Reply to  FAIRSWIM
6 years ago

newswim- Thanks for the education. As you can see I am not the expert in the field, Even though I disagree with some of your extension of blame, I do appreciate your fact-based reasoning, and respect your opinion, As opposed to some of the other absurd one-line comment, which always come out with stories like this, link them to communism or nationality.

jman
Reply to  FAIRSWIM
6 years ago

Where is the bigotry in his statement? You are the one who admitted not liking an Asian swimmer who has done less egregious things than European descent Phelps. You need to use those words much more selectively.

FAIRSWIM
Reply to  FAIRSWIM
6 years ago

jaman – please calm down and read my posts carefully. My points are exactly that Sun and Phelps have had some very similar behaviors (with Phelps might even being on worse side), they should be treated fairly and similarly even though most of the readers on this site, including me, are Phelps fans. I have nothing but good things to say about Bobo, Braden and Newswim about their rational comments/replies even though I respectfully disagreed with newswim’s questioning of China Swimming in this case, again based on Michael reference. I am becoming not a fan of Sun Yang for several reasons, that is a big difference from ‘not liking’ him or ‘not liking an Asian Swimmer’ in your quote. My… Read more »

Chao
Reply to  newswim
4 years ago

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… Read more »

Kacee
Reply to  Chao
4 years ago

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

pb&j
6 years ago

i am really surprised

yoloswag420
6 years ago

What a surprise a swimmer from a communist nation tests positive for a banned substance

liquidassets
6 years ago

This is an odd choice for medication; it’s not used much just for ear symptoms anymore so I wonder if it means he has a chronic cardiac condition? Otherwise it sounds suspicious.

Zhen
Reply to  liquidassets
6 years ago

According to the news report, he has been using the prescribed medicine since 2008 due to his heart problem.

liquidassets
Reply to  liquidassets
6 years ago

That might be a potentially serious and chronic disorder, then. I’m curious to see how he will do without the significant performance enhancement from the stimulant, and wondering which, if any, medication he will take now instead, unless his condition has resolved. You can’t take away his records, obviously, since it was legal when he set them. But it will likely make his records harder to break.

Zhen
Reply to  liquidassets
6 years ago

My understanding is that it’s still legal to take the medicine out-of-competition. It’s class S6 so only banned in competition. He could even file a petition to take it in competition through his doctor.

joe momma
6 years ago

I hope that his use of the drug was just a pathetic attempt to game the system, and not indicative of something more serious health wise.

Var
6 years ago

So this stuff was Legal in January and Sun was supposed to have it in his system in April.

This is really not as significant as it appears.

newswim
Reply to  Var
6 years ago

Yes, it was added in January because of “emerging patterns of drug use” how does that make it less serious? BTW, the Winter Olympics had a number of positive tests for trimetazidine usually associated with use of Preductal by cross country skiers and cyclists. So its not like its a secret.

I take CHINADA 3 month penalty for Sun and 1 year for his doctor as indication that the doctor should have known better given the clear WADA bulletin issued in January where it was banned

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. 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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