Sun Yang Says He Will ‘Definitely’ Appeal 8-Year-Ban At Swiss Federal Court

Sun Yang

Sun Yang, the Chinese swimmer banned for eight years in a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decision handed down today, responded by saying that he will “definitely” appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal, the highest court able to consider appeals agains CAS judgements.

“This is unfair. I firmly believe in my innocence,” Sun told Xinhua.

“I will definitely appeal to let more people know the truth.”

The CAS upheld an appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), ruling that Sun had refused to cooperate with drug sample collectors during a controversial visit to his home in September 2018.

The Chinese Swimming Association, which in the CAS hearing last November, stood accused of threatening the lead anti-doping officer who visited Sun’s home in September, has said that it will support Sun in his appeal at the Swiss Court.

Sun’s lawyers later confirmed that an appeal would be lodged with the the Tribunal “within 30 days”.

It is rare for the Swiss court to overturn CAS judgments, on grounds of limited jurisdiction: among cases overturned, the issues have centred on commercial rights, financial penalties and human rights such as in the case of Caster Semenya. For the Swiss court to override a judgment based on the WADA Code and Anti-doping rules and procedures would set a precedent in swimming.

The Swiss Federal Tribunal – A Brief Explanation

  • The Swiss Federal Tribunal (SFT) has the power to issue a stay on any decisions in sport pending judgement of the Swiss court. That could leave the door to Tokyo 2020 ajar. However, in past sports cases, the Swiss court has only issued a stay where there have been no objection from the opposing party, in this case WADA. It is highly unlikely that that WADA would let a plea for stay in Sun’s case go unchallenged under the circumstances: where other cases have involved issues of financial recompense or human rights, the swimmer’s case and judgement speaks to the WADA Code, the CAS decision based on anti-doping rules not wider international conventions and precedents.
  • The Tribunal’s role: The CAS is subject to the more general legal framework of international arbitration in Switzerland regulated through the Swiss Private International Law Act (Swiss PILA). The Swiss PILA emphasizes the parties’ autonomy in the conduct of the arbitration proceedings and limits the intervention of state courts to the strict minimum. Within this context, arbitral awards are final upon their notification and can only be challenged before the Swiss Federal Tribunal (SFT) on a very limited number of grounds, exhaustively enumerated in Art. 190(2) PILA. Although a “limited” role tis bestowed upon the SFT, Switzerland’s Supreme Court has so far rendered numerous judgments in motions to set aside CAS awards. The SFT has significant influence on how CAS operates and CAS judges are aware of relevant conditions when they make their judgements. The SFT controls both the legality of CAS as an arbitral institution and the legality of CAS awards. The SFT may confirm, reject or more generally interpret some of the procedural provisions of the CAS Rules and the law applicable to the merits of cases.
  • An example of the types of cases that have resulted in CAS decisions being overturned
  • The IOC is among parties that challenged CAS rulings and lost, while the Tribunal has a strong record of upholding not overturning specific doping cases decided on by the CAS, here one of several cases in point.

25 comments

  1. Jenny Bruce

    yeah good luck on that one , just suck it up and bow out gracefully out of the sport, your done, you have been found guilty move on find something else to do

  2. Howard Hay

    Not surprised, he’ll challenge based on technicalities and conspiracy theories and not on whether he actually cheated or not.

  3. Swimmers World

    Proud of mack Horton in a world where we sit back and say nothing he stood stood up for what is right and Australia AOM

    • Peter Hocking

      Swimmers World let’s see if he now gets his name on his new local Aquatics centre?

  4. Ed Burton

    Hopefully that is his career over.

    • Darren Bodey

      Ed Burton May take up masters at 36

    • Vishal Patel

      Yes because he was not actually caught doping. He retains everything.

  5. Pamela Goldsbro

    Best news I’ve had all week. Congrats to Mack and all who stood up for what they knew to be the truth.

  6. Jaime Patten

    Of course he will appeal, hopefully the next hearing will be in 2021… seeing as it has taken 2 years to get this result

  7. Darwin Lai

    It is time to punish the evil Chinazi

  8. Francisca Alencar

    That’s nothing for a cheater like him. He should have all his medals 🏅 taken away from him. Drug doesn’t have space in sport. Cheater!

  9. Neil Mann

    Goodbye and good riddance!

  10. Julie Power

    I reckon drug cheats should be banned for life. Good on you Mack Horton!

  11. Gary Thompson

    He can only appeal if WADA agree to the appeal 😂🤣

  12. Lyn Wilcher

    I guess the Sun won’t come up tomorrow 😉

  13. Ernie Hayes

    Sad because he has an incredible stroke. I wish he wouldn’t disrespect the sport like that though. He’s disrespecting his country by trying to cheat the system, if he really is.

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