Chinese Swimming Association Backs Sun Yang; FINA Comments

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After a report by The Sunday Times, alleging Chinese Olympic gold medalist Sun Yang could face a lifetime ban, the Chinese Swimming Association (CSA) said Sunday Sun Yang had no wrongdoings and did not violate anti-doping rules when he took an out-of-competition urine test last September, according to China Central Television.

According to report, the incident involved Sun and his bodyguard smashing a sealed vial of the swimmer’s blood with a hammer, destroying the testing sample. The Sunday Times notes that Sun almost missed an out-of-competition test on September 4, 2018, breaking several testing protocols and questioning the credentials of the drug testers.

Sun claims the rejected the test at his home because the FINA-authorized testing organization had failed to show adequate proof of identification, CCTV reported. A dispute between Sun and the doping control team was later referred to world swimming governing body FINA, who ruled in favor of Sun after a 13-hour hearing on January 3.

FINA released this statement on Monday about the situation:

“FINA is aware of the reports in the Sunday Times and other media outlets regarding Chinese swimmer Sun Yang. In accordance with FINA’s Anti-Doping Policy (FINA DC Rules 14.1.5 and 14.3.3) and the decision of the Doping Panel, FINA is not authorised to comment the case. Moreover, FINA will not consider further speculation and hearsay on this matter. FINA has zero tolerance for the use of banned performance-enhancing substances and methods. FINA remains completely committed to protecting our clean athletes, with a very robust anti-doping programme, and this has proven highly effective in ensuring clean competition at the World Championships and Olympic Games. FINA continued to implement this intensive approach in Hangzhou, China, during the 14th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) 2018 and will do so again in the future, to preserve the integrity of our sport.”

Sun himself has threatened legal action against The Sunday Times, according to a report that appeared on the Channel News Asia website. The swimmer claims that the officials had failed to produce proper documentation for the testing, resulting in Sun attempting to reject the testing. His statement makes no mention of destroying the sample with a hammer as reported in the Times article.

The CSA quoted FINA’s decision as saying, “Mr. Sun Yang did not commit an anti-doping rule violation under FINA DC 2.3 or FINA DC 2.5” in the statement.

“After FINA called up an investigation of the issue, CSA ordered Sun Yang to fully co-operate with FINA and truly report every details of the affair. According to the final decision of the FINA Doping Panel, FINA confirms the athlete did not commit an anti-doping rule violation,” CSA announced in the statement.

This is not the first controversy involving anti-doping officials that Sun has been involved in. Sun has previously served a 3-month ban for doping that took effect back in May of 2014. That ban was a result of a positive test for the substance Trimetazidine at the 2014 Chinese Nationals, and resulted in the stripping of his 1500 National Title. The ban, however, was not announced until after it had already been completed.

Dr. Ba Zhen, who has been Sun’s longtime doctor, was also banned for a year for his role in that incident, and The Sunday Times reports he was also involved in Sun’s more recent incident with anti-doping officials in September.

Sun has been known for erratic behavior that has grabbed headlines, including a short stint in jail in 2013 for driving without a license that resulted in a subsequent ban from the Chinese Swimming Federation. He also drew attention in 2015 when he assaulted another swimmer in the warm up pool at the 2015 World Championships prior to the start of the 1500 free. He subsequently withdrew from the finals of that event but claimed in a statement that the incident was unrelated, instead blaming his withdrawal on concerns over chest pain.

Read the full China Central Television report here.

Swimming World will continue to update this story as it develops.

21 comments

  1. Kath Taylor

    For goodness sake Fina pull your finger out and get him band it’s an absolute disgrace that he is still in the water 😡

    • Kath Taylor

      Carole Machol-Atler oops 🙊😂

    • Kath Taylor

      Xinwèi Hannibal oops sorry but what’s my lovely spelling got to do with him been a cheat?

    • Mike Taylor

      Xinwèi Hannibal who are you? Sad bastard. Concentrate on the real issue at hand!!

  2. Jason Bryce

    Get him and FINA out of swimming

  3. Brooke Lee

    Sounds like a lot of drama for a clean swimmer 🙄

  4. Matthew Lowe

    China backs Sun Yang. Shocking development there, they are probably in on this whole deal anyway

  5. Kim Weetman

    Didn’t he do the blatant false start at 2012 Olympics? But yet some spineless FINA bureau overruled the ref and starter, both getting removed from positions?

  6. Bob Platt

    Surprised (said no one ever)

  7. Carole Machol-Atler

    Of course they’re going to back him…just like they did with the gymnasts. Think they’re going to admit any wrongdoing. Ha! Reminds me of the East Germans.

    • Steven Rose

      Carole Machol-Atler Or their random track stars if 1990-1993

  8. avatar
    Aroon Lee

    It is a bit weird, this happened several months ago. FINA considered sample collection session initiated by IDDM invalid and void due to illegal proof of identification. All the sudden, The Times brought this up and removed the part of FINA’s final judgement in its article. It is not the first time for The Times to make a biased report, but why this time, it is still 1 year away from the 2020 Olympics. It would be more effective if they do this several weeks before Yang’s Olympics competition, but anyway, British may have a better plan in their mind.

  9. avatar

    China has a history of cheats and not just in swimming.

  10. Andrea McHugh

    He’s a cheater, period. All the Chinese are

  11. Bradley Scott

    The history of communist countries supporting state-sponsored cheating is long and tiresome. Apparently this the only way China can compete with US in any meaningful way. 🇺🇸🇺🇸

  12. avatar
    academicjoq

    If the FINA blood testers failed to provide proper identification, then why did Sun Yung allow them to take his blood in the first place? Does he, or anyone, normally allow improperly identified people to insert needles into his/their body and take blood samples? AND, if the samples were “clean”, then why break the containers?