Sun Yang Tale Of Gold-To-Doping-Gauntlet Heads To Silver Screen In Movie Of Fallen Star’s Career

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 - Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer

The turbulent times of Sun Yang, the controversial Chinese swimmer who in 2012 became his country’s first male Olympic swimming champion but ran into trouble with doping authorities, are to make the Silver Screen in a film charting tainted gold.

Sun was hit with a three-month backdated suspension, one never actually served, back in 2014, and this year was slapped with an eight-year suspension after a dispute with anti-doping testers resulted in a charge of tampering from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The Court of Arbitration (CAS) handed down the judgment in February after siding with WADA against the argument of FINA, Sun and his entourage that his dispute with testers was justified.

Now, Sun’s spectacular fall from grace is going to be turned into a movie.

In what the Australia Telegraph’s Julian Linden describes as “from red card to red carpet”, the news from China’s CCTV-6’s Chinese Movie News is that a biopic will cover the life, times and swim career of Sun Yang,  including his run-ins with Australian arch-rival Mack Horton and Britain’s Duncan Scott, who faced the screaming Sun down in a peaceful podium protest that ended with the Chinese swimmer shouting “…you loser” at Scott.

The cast for the film has not yet been decided because audit­ions have been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The same is true of the final judgement in the Sun Yang case before the Swiss Federal Tribunal, the last stand for any who lose cases at the CAS but wish to challenge judgment on procedural or human rights grounds.

There is no suggestion as yet that Sun will play himself – and as Linden writes in the Telegraph “you can bet Horton won’t be winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, with the anti-drugs crusader no hope of being cast in the good guy role after he beat Sun for the Olympic gold medal at Rio in 2016, then protested against him during the medal ceremony at last year’s world championships in South Korea”.

One thing is clear:  the Directors of ‘Sun The Movie’ will have a great deal of material to work with if the project goes ahead.



  1. Yahia Zeino

    Once positive for Doping, the swimmer should be banned for life. Swimming has to be clean. This swimmer will never be respected no matter how many medals he has.

    • avatar

      Heck yeah

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