James Guy Speechless & Shocked After Hearing of Sun Yang’s Invite To Olympic Training

James Guy: Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Double Olympic medallist James Guy was lost for words before shock turned into confusion and questions after hearing that Sun Yang had been invited by the Chinese Swimming Association (CSA) to join the Olympic swimming team for Tokyo 2021 training.

Swimming World had learned of an official notice showing that Sun was among swimmers, coaches and others invited to take part in three-month Olympic training programmes from April to June.

This despite Sun having been given an eight-year ban by the Court of Arbritration for Sport (CAS) which upheld the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) appeal against FINA’s original decision not to sanction the Chinese after an incident-fuelled out-of-competition test in September 2018.


Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Swimming World alerted WADA and within hours the CSA issued a new document stating the previous invitation to Olympic training was invalid.

Guy beat Sun to the 200 free title at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, Russia, with the Chinese winning the Olympic title 12 months later in Rio de Janeiro and the Briton in fourth.

Ahead of him Sun and Conor Dwyer who was suspended in October 2019 and subsequently retired after testing positive for anabolic agents.

Guy, who is coached by Dave McNulty at Bath National Training Centre, one of many athletes directly affected by those subsequently banned and he was shocked to hear of the Sun situation.

He told Swimming World:

“Why? I’m speechless: why have they done that when he’s not allowed to compete? I just don’t understand why. I am baffled by it, I don’t know what to say.

“I’m really confused is what I would say. I haven’t got a clue, I’m shocked by what I’ve heard and I’m really confused and stunned.

“They’ve been to CAS, he’s been given a ban and that’s it. It’s over.”

Foto Gian Mattia D'Alberto/LaPresse 21 Dicembre 2019 Las Vegas - USA sport nuoto 2019 ISL - International Swimming League. Nella foto: GUY James Photo Gian Mattia D'Alberto/LaPresse December 21, 2019 Las Vegas - USA sport swimming 2019 ISL - International Swimming League. In the picture: GUY James

James Guy – Photo Courtesy: Gian Mattia D’Alberto/LaPresse

Guy is one of only three athletes – the others being Australian Mack Horton and Kosuke Hagino of Japan – to have beaten Sun over 200 and 400 free since the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona where he took the 400-800-1500 clean sweep.

As well as Guy’s triumph in Kazan, Horton – who led the way with podium protests at the 2019 worlds in Gwangju with Duncan Scott also standing up for his beliefs – took the 400 title in Rio while Hagino won the 200 free at the 2014 Asian Games.

Chad le Clos has long been vocal about wanting to upgrade his silver medal from Rio behind Sun who Guy believes should not have been there following his doping positive in 2014.

Instead, he calls for long-term bans to be issued.

“That’s not a jealous thing: make it a fair playing field. If you’ve done something bad, he shouldn’t have been there. I’m pretty sure the rest of the world will back me up on that.

“Sun should not have been in Rio and that’s it – he shouldn’t have been there. Anyone’s who’s a drug cheat shouldn’t have been at the Games – that’s it.

“Sun is now banned but when he was still there and people who had doped are still there – it’s not a fair playing field. If you’ve been caught you should be banned for 10 years or for life and that’s it. There’s no oh yeah, this and that. Otherwise it gets messy and it becomes unfair.”


James Guy at the 2019 World Championships. Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

So too was it a good day when the CAS decision was handed down.

“When that came out my phone just went ding, ding, ding, ding. And just the mood and people messaging me saying ‘oh my god this has happened’. I haven’t seen anything like it. It just shows that nature takes its course.

“Good things come to those who wait and that’s it, isn’t it? Everything happens for a reason so obviously he has done what he has done and he’s got an eight-year ban and it’s as simple as that.”

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Briny McArthur
3 years ago

That’s disgusting. Sun Yang has no rights at all !!

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