Sun & Friends At FINA “Stole The Dreams” Of Swimmers & Coaches Worldwide’: ASCTA

Yang Sun of China walks in before competing in the men's 1500m Freestyle Final during the Swimming competition held at the Aquatics Center during the London 2012 Olympic Games in London, Great Britain, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012. (Photo by Patrick B. Kraemer / MAGICPBK)

The Australian Swimming Coaches And Teachers Association (ASCTA) today accuses Sun Yang, the Chinese swimmer handed an eight-year ban by the World Anti-Doping Agency last Friday,  and Swimming’s world governing body FINA of “stealing the dreams” of swimmers and coaches worldwide.

FINA must be held to account and its leadership must find a way to get back the two world titles claimed by Sun in Gwangju last year while awaiting a hearing into his case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

ASCTA CEO Brendon Ward issued a statement that bolstered blistering comments from the organisation’s chair, Tony Shaw, to say:

“Mack Horton has come out saying he is just a guy chasing a dream – well FINA and Sun Yang, they are the dream stealers of international sport – they have stolen Mack’s dream and they have stolen the dreams of other athletes.

“FINA must reconsider the decision handed down by WADA not to reverse Sun’s World Championship results and forget about the ‘legal loop hole’ they are talking about and do what is right by the athletes.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport, on grounds that Sun’s tampering case did not uncover any actual doping in the way that his positive test of 2014 did (explained here), ruled that the eight-year ban should start from Friday and that no retrospective action on results and medals should be taken

However, ASCTA joined the loud chorus in the world swimming community calling for FINA to take away Sun’;s two gold medals from the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju last year.

The key message in floods of social media posts, articles in mainstream media around the world, blogs, broadcasts and more is this: now that WADA and CAS had ruled against the FINA Doping Panel that sought to let Sun off with a caution but no penalty after a hearing into an acrimonious testing mission outside Sun’s home in 2018, FINA should put right what it got wrong.

Regardless of the CAS ruling, FINA has an obligation to acknowledge its errors, including letting Sun off with a caution and therefore allowing him to race on and compete at a World Championships held four months after WADA lodged its appeal at the CAS against the FINA Doping Panel decision the international federation had sought to keep a secret.

A report in the Sunday Times by this author in January 2019 revealed the details of Sun’s row over four hours through the night in September 2018 and how, after removing from the chain of custody a blood sample submitted and signed off by Sun, the swimmers and his entourage were party to the smashing of a vial of blood on the pavement outside the control room.

(L-R) Second placed Mack Horton of Australia keeps his distance to winner Yang Sun of China while they pose with their medals for photographers after competing in the men's 400m Freestyle Final during the Swimming events at the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships, Gwangju, South Korea, 21 July 2019. Gabriele Detti of Italy finishes third.

Mack Horton, left, keeps his distance to Sun Yang for the photo-op with bronze medallist Gabriele Detti after medals in the 400m free at world titles in Gwangju … podium protests followed after Sun Yang’s latest brush with anti-doping authorities – Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer

In his statement, ASCTA CEO Brendon Ward  added: “ASCTA is an association that really feels for Craig and Mack; they deserve better; this is what they dream about and those dreams have not only been shattered but they have stolen those dreams.

“FINA must be held to account for this. They have tried to fight this hearing and that was wrong and they must be held accountable for their actions; we have said all along we are for clean sport and that is absolutely what we stand for.

“It has to be open and transparent and it must be clean; we can’t let cheats rob our sport of not only those precious gold medals and prizemoney but it’s integrity.

“And the passion and professionalism of these athletes and their coaches who spend all day, every day training for that Olympic dream or that world championship dream – only to see them taken away – it’s wrong

“Without their coaches, without the strong influence of their coaches and without their real commitment to get results we don’t have a sport.”

 

7 comments

  1. Gerrald Muffino

    Mack H won fair and square. The first person to finish without cheating. He is the world champion in my books and a champion for all athletes who are honest enough to compete on a level playing field

  2. avatar
    Steve G

    Drugs must be eliminated from the sport FINA should have supported WADA and should immediately take back the medals that Sun did not win as a clean athlete.

  3. Alberta Haynes-Carlson

    Sun Yang! You stole your own dreams of swimming. No one else but you. Be Gone!!!

  4. Ann Doe

    You mean “ stole the drugs” ?!

  5. avatar
    Anonymous

    Shame on you Mr Sun.