Sun Yang Appealing to Swiss Tribunal Against Eight-Year Anti-Doping Suspension

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)

Sun Yang, the Chinese swimmer who was served an eight-year suspension for tampering with a blood sample he had signed off into the custody of anti-doping officers in September 2018, has appealed against the decision (May 4, London).

Sun Yang had until last close of business last Thursday to file his appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal (SFT) against a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruling on February 28 against him and in favour of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The SFT does not confirm the details of appeals but a case file has been opened with a number attached to the “Sun Yang Case”. Sun’s lawyers lodged their appeal with a day to go, last Wednesday, April 29.

WADA had called for a suspension of eight years after a FINA Doping Panel decided on January 3, 2019, to let Sun Yang off with a caution rather than impose a penalty despite the outcome of an acrimonious dispute with three anti-doping testers who visited the swimmers home in Zhejiang Province on September 4 last year.

Sun’s key arguments included an allegation that two of the testers did not present adequate credentials nor, in the case of the nurse there to take blood, adequate qualifications/licences. Sun was not alone in his argument: three officials, including WADA-twice-banned doctor Ba Zhen, were party to events that led to a blood sample signed off by Sun being taken back from the chain of command and the casing of a vial smashed on the pavement with hammer outside the control room by a security guard called to take action by Sun’s mother, Ming Yang.

All decisions of the CAS are subject to appeals at the Swiss Federal Tribunal (SFT) because the sports court is based in Lausanne, Switzerland and must operate under Swiss law.

The SFT does not consider the merits of the actual case. Its jurisdiction focusses on legal aspects such as whether CAS hearings are properly conducted in law and whether human rights have been observed.

On the way to the CAS hearing into Sun Yang’s case last November, the swimmer’s legal team appealed to the SFT on matters of procedure and law on at least two occasions but those appeals were rejected.

There is, as yet, no timetable for the hearing of the appeal. During that process, Sun Yang remains a suspended athlete and cannot work with any swimmer, coach our other person with official ties to performance training in environments subject to the WADA Code.

Last month, it emerged that Sun had been invited to join national-team training in April, May and June. After Swimming World alerted WADA to China’s mistake, the Chinese Swimming Association (CSA) withdrew the invitation in a statement that noted the swimmer’s status as a suspended athlete.

10 comments

  1. Ildiko Morris

    Good luck! ( why can’t he just go away??. He has no respect in the sport any more anyway..)

    • Ann Doe

      Ildiko Morris just like China has no respect in the world any more but they don’t want to backup from the stage…

  2. We don’t care! Go away already! U r an arrogant cheater. And please stop covering his story. Ugh!