Sun Yang Withdraws From FINA Showcase Citing Tokyo 2020 Focus

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Sun Yang has withdrawn from the FINA Champions Series in Shenzhen next week, telling his China teammates in social media posts that he will see them in Qingdao for Olympic trials in March and continue to focus on his Tokyo 2020 Games preparations.

The news follows a FINA announcement including Sun as part of a delegation of 12 Chinese swimmers invited by the international federation to race in its newest event, in answer to stiff competition from the International Swimming League.

Sun is awaiting a verdict expected this month from Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) judges after a hearing was held in Montreux las November into an acrimonious  exchange with anti-doping testers in September 2018.

FINA’s Doping Panel let Sun off with a serious caution in which the Olympic 200m freestyle champion’s behaviour was described as “extremely foolish”, after a four-hour argument with testers through the night ended with no urine sample being produced and the blood sample that had been Handed over and signed off by Sun subsequently withdrawn and removed from the chain of official custody. Sun’s legal team argue that there was no chain of custody because the paperwork and credentials of testers fell shy of what was required under the guidelines of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

WADA appealed the FINA decision to CAS, the details of which are laid out and analyzed by a CAS arbitrator who has no involvement with the Sun Yang case.the details of which are laid out and analyzed by a CAS arbitrator who has no involvement with the Sun Yang case.

WADA lawyers maintain that the organisation’s guidelines are just that and that the only thing that counts as required standard are the actual rules, which they say were complied with.

A decision in the case is due this month and may either end Sun’s career or allow it to continue against a backdrop of widespread discontent among fellow athletes from around the world.

However, in posts on Chinese social media Sun addresses teammates to say:

“Fight! China’s swimming team! I will see you in the Championships in Qingdao this March.”

In another post, Sun announces to his fan club that he has withdrawn from the FINA event to focus on his preparations for the Olympic Games in Tokyo in July.

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Sun Yang takes to social media to say he won’t be racing at the FINA meet

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