Sun Yang Asks CAS To Hold Public Hearing Into Dispute With Anti-Doping Testers – In September

Sun Yang cools down - Photo Courtesy: David E. Klutho-USA TODAY Sports

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Chinese swimmer Sun Yang has asked the Court of Arbitration for Sport for the hearing into events and outcomes surrounding an acrimonious out-of-competition visit by anti-doping testers near his home last September to be held in public.

In a statement outlining why they believe their client has been misrepresented and is innocent of any wrongdoing, Qihuai Zhang, of the Lanpeng Law Firm in Beijing, concludes with the news:

“…Sun Yang has requested CAS to hold a public hearing of his case in September 2019 in order to be fully transparent and to clear his name.”

The statement, which both criticises the Australian Sunday Telegraph for publishing “confidential” details of a FINA Doping Panel report into the events of September 4-5 last year and professes the swimmer’s desire for transparency, does not extend to explaining why a request for a public hearing was not made since March, when the World-Anti-Doping Agency challenged the panel’s decision to let the swimmer off with a warning.

An earlier hearing might have cleared Sun to race free of calls from other athletes for him to stand down at the World Championships here in Gwangju, where eight days of racing starts tomorrow, the first gold up for grabs also the defence of Sun’s 400m freestyle crown.

The CAS revealed to Swimming World this week that no party to the case had requested an expedited process in order to decide the fate of the swimmer ahead of World Championships. Sun will defend the 400m freestyle world crown tomorrow.

In January, the FINA Doping Panel let Sun go free with a series of stern rebukes but WADA challenged that decision in March and a tentative September date has been set for a CAS hearing.

In their statement, Sun’s lawyers – asserting that Sun was to be found “fully cooperating” with testing officers during more than four hours of argument between 11pm on September 4 and 3.15 the following morning – paint a somewhat different picture of the evening of dispute to that described by FINA witnesses and officers from the IDTM testing agency in evidence to the FINA Doping Panel hearing.

The CAS hearing will determine which version of events finds favour with the judges at the sports court, the assertion in the statement from Sun’s lawyers that “The doping control officers sent by the Chinese Testing Agency, IDTM, were not properly accredited” among several points in dispute.

In Gwangju, Lilly King, of the USA, described Sun’s presence at the World Championships without resolution of the CAS process “insane”. She called for FINA to think again about its approach to doping.

The Statement in Full, dateline Geneva, 9th July:

Sunday 14 July 2019 saw the Australian newspaper the Sunday Telegraph publish an incomplete and biased account of the drug testing on Sun Yang, the Chinese freestyle swimmer, in 2018. The article spoke about the legal proceedings before FINA which led to FINA dismissing the case against Sun Yang. These proceedings were confidential but that did not stop the Sunday Telegraph from publishing its shocking article defaming Sun Yang. The article also spoke of the subsequent confidential Court of Arbitration for Sport (“CAS”) proceedings brought by the World Anti-Doping Agency (“WADA”) against FINA’s decision. The CAS appeal is pending with a hearing set down for September 2019. On account of these flagrant breaches of confidentiality which the Australian newspaper was only too pleased to profit on the eve of the commencement of the FINA World Swimming Championships in South Korea, Sun Yang, represented by his legal team would like to summarily respond.

The doping control officers sent by the Chinese Testing Agency, IDTM, were not properly accredited to carry out the out of competition tests on Sun Yang, as the FINA judgment sets out very clearly. Worse, while he was fully cooperating, Sun Yang then noticed during the test that one of the unauthorised officers was secretly filming him without his permission. This act was resoundingly condemned by FINA in its judgment in Sun Yang’s favour. After having been advised by his medical team and the Chinese Swimming Association, Sun Yang, who has been tested hundreds of times in his career, requested the officers to show their accreditations, but to no avail. It also appeared that the nurse involved was not authorised to draw blood in China. Mr. Sun Yang requested IDTM to send testing officers with proper accreditation and he was ready to wait all night in order to complete the test, but IDTM refused. The officers then decided to stop the testing and gave the blood samples back to Sun Yang.

The matter is before CAS who will try the appeal brought by WADA. It is CAS and CAS alone who should hear this appeal and Sun Yang objects to being tried by the Australian press by journalists who cherry-picked through FINA’s judgment, inciting adverse and damaging reactions from third-parties on the internet.

In view of this, Sun Yang has requested CAS to hold a public hearing of his case in September 2019 in order to be fully transparent and to clear his name.

Qihuai Zhang
Lanpeng Law Firm, Beijing

Fabrice Robert-Tissot Bonnard Lawson, Geneva

Ian Meakin
XXIV Old Buildings, London and Geneva


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Richard Johansson
4 years ago

Lilly King is right, he should NOT be there!

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