Xinhua: Swiss Tribunal ‘Overturns’ Sun Yang Ban, Matter Will Return to CAS

Chinese state-run media outlet Xinhua is reporting that a Swiss Tribunal has overturned an eight-year ban on distance swimmer Sun YangWADA, a party in the case, suggests the case will return to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) with a new chairperson.


In February, Sun was banned for eight years over an out-of-competition doping test in which Sun challenged the credentials of doping control officers. The test ended with a vial of Sun’s blood smashed before doping control agents could take it away for testing.

The international swimming federation, FINA originally sought a ban against Sun, but an independent doping panel cleared him. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) appealed that decision to CAS, culminating in a live-streamed November 2019 hearing that was marred by frequent translation issues. CAS ultimately handed down an eight-year ban for Sun.

But he appealed that decision to the Swiss Federal Tribunal. In April, he filed an appeal asking the Swiss Federal Tribunal to completely set aside the ban. In June, he filed a second appeal asking the Tribunal to revise the ban.

Reports: Sun’s Revision Upheld, Ban Set Aside, Matter Returns to CAS

State-run Chinese media outlet Xinhua published a very brief report today, announcing that the Swiss Federal Tribunal had “overturned” the CAS decision.

The Swiss Federal Tribunal decision is not publicly available yet. But WADA, the party opposing Sun in the case, published a  press release acknowledging that the Swiss Federal Tribunal had upheld a “revision application” filed by Sun and had “set aside” his eight-year ban. You can see that WADA release here.

WADA says the Swiss Federal Tribunal decision “upholds a challenge against the Chair of the CAS Panel and makes no comment on the substance of this case.” WADA’s release suggests that the Swiss Federal Tribunal decision will send the case back to CAS for a second hearing with a different chairperson heading the CAS panel.

“In the CAS award, WADA clearly prevailed on the substance of the case as it was able to show that there were a number of aspects of the original FINA decision that were incorrect under the World Anti-Doping Code and the related International Standard for Testing and Investigations,” WADA says in its release. “WADA will take steps to present its case robustly again when the matter returns to the CAS Panel, which will be chaired by a different president.”

It appears Sun Yang‘s saga will continue, potentially with a second CAS hearing.

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Mean Dean
1 month ago

Aw shit here we go again

Reply to  Mean Dean
1 month ago

“This is not where the fun begins” -Anakin after getting his arms and legs chopped off

1 month ago

Oh just **** off once and for all, Sun Yang.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dee
1 month ago

I don’t understand what’s taking so long about this. He’s violated rules multiple times yet still claims innocence and thinks they can fix it

Reply to  MX4x50relay
1 month ago

Unpopular opinion-judges make mistakes too, so appeals should be a part of the process. After all WADA appealed FINA’s decision so it is completely possible that CAS could have made a mistake.

With that said, the evidence presented so far has shown Sun Yang messed up and his ban is valid:
He made the mistake of destroying samples. Why did he do that? He believed the DCA needed credentials but it turns out per regulations only the DCO needs them. If the DCA was without training and taking pictures of him, that’s actually technically not against the rules and the collection process still stands as valid. As a professional, it’s his job to know protocols.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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