MIAMI – Sun Yang’s recent doping violation and subsequent suspension will keep him from visiting Australia to train with Denis Cotterell.
Sun Yang, the reigning Olympic champion in the 400 and 1500 freestyles, was due to arrive in Australia this week for an extensive training cycle with Cotterell, according to an article in the Courier-Mail. But Swimming Australia High Performance Director Michael Scott was concerned about Sun training alongside Cotterell’s primary swimmers at the Miami Swimming Club, and informed Cotterell that Sun could no longer train in Miami or anywhere in Australia.
“As a result of that meeting and our policy Denis has advised the Chinese swimming federation that Sun Yang will not be allowed to train at Miami anymore or any of our podium centres,” Scott said in the Courier-Mail article.
Cotterell was the main guiding force behind Sun’s amazing success since 2011, when the Chinese star broke Grant Hackett’s longstanding world record in the 1500 freestyle at the world championships. Since then, Sun has visited Cotterell in Australia regularly, and that has resulted in gold medals at the 2012 Olympics and 2013 world championships. Cotterell has trained other Chinese swimmers as well, including world record holder Ye Shiwen, but it is not clear if those athletes are still allowed to train in Australia.
Swimming Australia has begun a new policy demanding foreign athletes register for out-of-competition drug testing while in Australia and pay the federation a fee to cover the costs of administering those tests. The federation had been attempting for a few years to reduce the amount of foreign swimmers coming to Australia for training, in an effort to steer coaches toward fostering more home-grown talent. Cotterell had earned a large financial reward from Chinese Swimming for his help in Sun’s success, but also has guided several Australians to senior-level success. Thomas Fraser-Holmes is one of Miami Swimming Club’s most prominent champions, having trained alongside Sun over the years and winning medals at the Commonwealth Games and Pan Pacific championships this year.