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Sun Yang to face questions from Court of Arbitration for Sport over drug test in rare public hearing

by ZwemZa on October 20th, 2019

Sun Yang won the third Olympic gold medal of his career in the 200m freestyle final in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. AP: Matt Slocum

China’s world and Olympic swimming champion Sun Yang will answer allegations about anti-doping violations in an open court hearing on November 15, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) says.

Key points:

  • Chinese swimmer Sun Yang will face questions over the destruction of vials of his blood samples by members of his entourage in 2018
  • Sun Yang’s open hearing at the CAS will be the first of its type since 1999
  • Sun has an ongoing feud with Australia’s Mack Horton, who has labelled him a “drug cheat”

In a break from usual procedure, CAS said the case would be held in public at a hotel in the Swiss town of Montreux after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) appealed against a decision by swimming’s governing body FINA to clear Sun of wrongdoing in a random drug test last September.

Documents leaked to the media claimed that Sun questioned the credentials of the testers before members of his entourage smashed the vials containing his blood samples with a hammer in 2018.

The 27-year-old has denied any wrongdoing.

The hearing will examine why the vial of blood was destroyed.

“With the agreement of all parties, it is intended to livestream all or parts of the hearing on the CAS website,” CAS said in a statement.

It is only the second time in the history of CAS that a hearing is held in public. The earlier case involved Irish swimmer Michelle Smith De Bruin and FINA in 1999.

Triple Olympic champion Sun served a three-month doping suspension in 2014 for taking the stimulant trimetazidine, which he said he took to treat a heart condition.

The substance had been banned a few months before Sun failed the test.

A second doping violation would bring a tougher sanction and rule him out of next year’s Tokyo Olympics.

Australia’s Mack Horton refused to stand on the podium next to Sun Yang at this year’s Swimming World Championships. (AP: Mark Schiefelbein)

The swimmer became the centre of controversy at this year’s world titles in Gwangju, South Korea, where Australia’s Mack Horton refused to share a podium with him after his win in the 400m freestyle event.

Britain’s Duncan Scott refused to shake Sun’s hand after his win in the 200m freestyle final, resulting in the Chinese world champion shouting and gesturing at his rival.

Swimming’s world governing body FINA issued warning letters to Sun, Horton and Scott after the incidents.


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