Sun Yang Urged To Spill Beans On ‘Darkest Secrets’ In Return For Reduced Suspension

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It is highly unlikely ever to happen but Travis Tygart, the USADA boss, has urged Sun Yang to spill the beans on his brush with anti-doping authorities and “swimming’s darkest secrets” in return for having his eight-year suspension reduced.

Sun could be offered similar witness protection s that given to Russia’s anti-drugs whistleblowers if he agrees to reveal the full extent of what he knows, Tygart suggested.

“I would say his best opportunity to get a reduction on the eight years is not some appeal to the Swiss [Federal] Tribunal but to come clean with everything he knows,” Tygart told reported Julian Linden at The Daily Telegraph in Australia.

“This includes his conversations with doctors, the FINA representatives and really try to get to the bottom of those allegations.”

He added: “If I was advising Sun Yang at this point, what I would say is sit down and come clean about the things his mom recently about FINA and Chinada (the China Anti-Doping Agency) because all that is information would be extremely valuable in our process.

Tygart has brought down some of the biggest cheats in sport including Lance Armstrong. Just how Sun could be given guaranteed protection in return for testifying against swimming officials in the context of China is a big open question but Tygart notes:

“The system shouldn’t just be punishing athletes, he’s going to have some consequences, but if there are players in the system that are covering up or hiding then it’s much worse. From a strategy point, that’s arguably more important than bringing cases just against athletes.”

If Sun does not agree to testify, Tygart said a full investigation should be launched into the role Chinese officials played in his downfall. Doping officials have wide-ranging powers to investigate and charge anyone that’s involved in anti-doping, including intimidating witnesses.

The full Court of Arbitration report into the Sun Yang case has yet to be published but will be provided there are no strong objections from the parties to the case, namely, Sun, WADA and FINA.

The report may recommend penalties are served on those in Sun’s entourage who recommended or assisted in the removal of a blood sample from the clan of anti-doping custody during an acrimonious out-of-competition testing mission to Sun’s home in September 2018. FINA’s Doping Panel let Sun off with a warning but WADA challenged that at the CAS. After a hearing last November, Sun was served an eight-year ban last Friday.

During the hearing, in Montreux, Switzerland, WADA’s lead counsel Richard Young told the hearing in Switzerland that the three independent drug testers who carried out the procedure had been subjected to intimidation.

He also raised questions about the actions of Sun’s personal doctor Ba Zhen, who has already served two doping suspensions after giving him the banned heart medication that resulted in his first offence in 2014.

After SwimVortex questioned Ba’s presence at the Asian Games with Sun in 2014 at a time when he should have been serving a one-year suspension, WADA imposed a second, concurrent, suspension on the doctor. A third suspension for him in relation to his role in the 2018 case, would result in a lifetime ban.

Focus on the role of Sun’s entourage and FINA coincides with pressure being brought to bear on national federations to insist on a review and reform process, among calls, led by Bill Sweetenham, for the heads of all FINA leaders to roll.

In the days and weeks ahead, focus is also likely to turn on FINA’s sponsors and partners.

 

5 comments

  1. Lex Librea

    Hell to the no! Make it more than 8 years

  2. Peter Robinson

    He cheated the world for ten years. Unforgivable.

  3. Karen Sing

    So, he’s going to lie, his “people” will make up some stories to blame others, and get a reduced ban? Seriously? Mr. Tygart, not how I want my tax dollars spent.

  4. Gary Tan

    If he did, his jail term in China would be more than 8yrs 🤣
    The only way is he defects 😎