Rudd, World Swimming Coaches Association Vice-President: CAS Decision Has Rescued Swimming

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Jon Rudd - Photo Courtesy: Jon Rudd

Jon Rudd, vice-president of the World Swimming Coaches Association (WSCA), says “the sport has been rescued” after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) handed an eight-year ban to Sun Yang.

The ban, which is not backdated and starts today, effectively ends the controversial career of the Chinese triple Olympic champion.

Sun, who is 28, now has one option and that is to challenge the CAS verdict at the Swiss Federal Court, the highest legal authority in Switzerland where CAS and world swimming governing body FINA are based.

Rudd, who is at the forefront of the establishment of the European arm of the WSCA, praised CAS for reaching a decision of such magnitude after the incident in September 2018 which warranted only a warning from FINA.

He told Swimming World:

“I think it’s absolutely just and anything else we’d have all felt deflated today I think.

“Absolute hats off to CAS for coming to a decision that I think the vast majority of us would have felt was the kind of decision that they should come to.

“We were in fear that we weren’t going to get that because of the nature of this individual and the other shenanighans and wheelings and dealings that have gone on in the past with him still being in the pool.”

Rudd added:

“The sport has been rescued: it’s literally that big.

“The sport has been rescued by that decision because if we hadn’t had that and we were looking at a small, insignificant ban or even we were potentially getting the FINA decision being upheld, the credibility of this sport and sport as we know it was in jeopardy.

“How could any athlete walk into an international arena and feel secure that those that are the custodians of the sport were working in their best interests?

“This has rescued the sport at international level. We can go back to Mack Horton and Duncan Scott and the bitterness that everybody was feeling at the World Championships.

“A huge sour taste in the vast majority of people’s mouths. The sport was tainted and well done WADA for taking it to CAS and well done CAS for making the decision. You have rescued the sport that we all love.”

Rudd did though question the gulf between FINA’s original decision and the one reached by CAS.

“There are three key protagonists in this case: FINA, WADA and CAS.

“Two of those protagonists came to one conclusion which were WADA and CAS in that he shouldn’t have been in the pool and the other one was not aligned with that.

“And the question we now have to ask is why is there not alignment between the three?”

So too for the former Plymouth Leander coach who has achieved success from grassroots to Olympics, was there a keenly-felt joy for everyone involved on poolside who help swimmers become the best version of themselves.

“I’m happy to say it as a coach and someone that loves this sport and for people like me who get out of bed at ridiculous times every morning and work all day and all weekend, week after week, year after year.

“To do that to try and help athletes achieve the best that they can, that pursuit of personal excellence. That’s what we’re about – we’re those facilitators.

“For all us – I would suggest – is huge news because it means now that at least somewhere in CAS – that final layer of hope and security that we have, they have been firm and resolute and thank goodness that they have.”

8 comments

  1. Vishal Patel

    There is still going to be an appeal. It’s not over

    • Vishal Patel

      And FINA got the punishment reduced so he can keep all his medals

    • Peter Last

      Vishal Patel I’m pretty glad he’s appealing because he’ll lose that as well and when he does they have to award a harsher punishment so hopefully they’ll ban for life instead of just 8 years and they’ll strip him of his medals which he cheated to get.!!

    • Vishal Patel

      Peter Last Is that true that he can be handed a firmer penalty if his appeal is unsuccessful? Thought it could only uphold the original penalty or reduce it.

    • Peter Last

      Any appeal process comes with consequences. Otherwise everyone would always appeal regardless and it just wastes time and resource. I’m not sure how far (if at all) the punishment would be increased, however it can be (and should be) for wasting their time. I don’t know whether 8 years is the maximum punishment?? If not, then should the appeal fail then there is perfect grounds to dish out a harsher punishment. It is unlikely they’ll strip him retrospectively of his medals (as much as we’d all love that, as they’re not really his on merit) but I would suspect a longer ban if 8 years is not the maximum + extra costs incurred. His career is finished anyhow but it’s not the point, all those athletes that do things right deserve to see this idiot banned from being within 10 miles of a swimming pool ever again!! His behaviour is disgusting!!

      • avatar
        Craig Lord - Swimming World Editor-in-Chief

        Yes… the Swiss Fed Tribunal possibilities are explained in brief in our lead piece, as is the explanation of why there will be no retrospective action on results and therefore no medals redistribution… the Swiss court can grant a stay that would allow Sun to race on (unlikely in that it requires to some extent the agreement of the opposing party… WADA, and I would imagine they would not agree with that); the court may also reverse the CAS decision… WADA is also the body more likely to increase the penalty for aggravated actions that the Swiss court, which has the power to reject a case before it is heard.

  2. Nigel Davis

    Simple he should not have competed at world great now but tainted medals