Sun’s Mum Flares: Ming Yang Reveals How Chinese Swim Bosses Sought To Hide 2014 Doping Positive

The eight-year ban handed down to three-time Olympic swimming champion Sun Yang by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for tampering with a test sample in 2018 has prompted the swimmer’s mother to launch an unprecedented attack on Chinese swimming authorities.

In a social network post subsequently deleted but not before the Chinese media picked it up and ran with it, Ming Yang claims that the Chinese Swimming Association (CSA) attempted to cover up her son’s positive doping test in 2014 and time events so that Sun Yang’s competition results would not be affected by events that broke the WADA Code.

She also accuses the authority of threatening to drop support for Sun in his legal case against WADA this past year if he did not accept the lawyers and translators they allocated to him even though both swimmer and his mother were unhappy with the choices.

In this article showing a social chat thread from Ming Yang, Sun’s mother  is said to have “raged” about the legal team serving her son, a legal team that will now be replaced, the Chinese media suggest. In part of Ming’s post, she states:

“I couldn’t sleep at night, powerless and helpless. My son struggled in the swimming pool for more than 20 years, and was strangled by power and lies.”

She claims that one lawyer had repeatedly omitted Sun Yang’s testimony and the other party’s weaknesses in key places.

Zhang Qihuai, Sun’s long-term legal adviser, told the Beijing News that Ming Yang was dissatisfied with both “a Chinese layers and another international lawyer based in Switzerland”.

Ming also comes in for criticism along with others in Sun’s encourage in a Chinese article that suggests they helped create the “Giant Baby” that is the star of their show.

The article concludes:

“In the formation of giant-baby psychology, leading to self-centredness and shirking responsibilities, it is hard not to blame parents for providing excessive protection. In Liu Zongyuan’s “Biography of Planting Trees”, he borrows the words of tree grower Guo Yantuo, to tell people to keep the growing tree a draw – and to abandon it.

“The same is true of parenting: if parents insist on creating a harmless greenhouse for their children, those injuries will only be doubled after their children leave the greenhouse.”

As Sun’s Chinese lawyer announced that their client will appeal to the last-stand Swiss Federal Tribunal to overturn a WADA eight-year ban that effectively ends the 28-year-old’s career, Ming noted that the CSA had imposed a fine of RMB5,000 (about pounds 550) and issued Sun with a warning for his May 2014 positive test for trimetazidine, a heart booster that joined the banned substances list at the start of that year.

All of that was kept a secret to allow Sun to race to three titles at the Asian Games in Incheon, Korea, in September 2014, wrote Ming, confirming what has long suspected by many following the story.

Sun was then approached in October 2014 by CSA officials who rattled the WADA Code and would appear to break rules governing reporting deadlines, when they told him, according to Ming, in a translation of her words:

“If we report this offence in the way we left it, it will not be approved. Now the Asian Games are over, your result will not be affected and the final outcome in this case will not be announced to the public either. We can say that the penalty was for three months sometime between May and October.”


Ming Yang talks to the media in a break at the CAS hearing of WADA Vs Sun Yang and FINA in November 2019 – Photo Courtesy: Craig Lord

Sun is said to have rejected the strategy but the plan was agreed to by his mother, who is cited in the FINA Doping Panel report of January 2019 as having asked a security guard to fetch the hammer with which he would then smash the outer casing of the blood sample at the heart of the tampering charge Sun was found guilty of by CAS last Friday.

The news of Sun’s positive test was broken in a one-paragraph brief in a Xinhua report in December 2014. Sun was handed a three-month retrospective suspension that was never actually served. FINA did not challenge the leniency of the penalty.

The world’s powerhouse of distance, endurance swimming, had been taking the substance “for several years” he said at the time, to control “heart palpitations”.

Sun’s doctor, Ba Zhen, was also penalised: he received a one-year ban for prescribing the banned substance and then, after SwimVortex unearthed pictures of him working on the pool deck at the Asian Games, was handed a concurrent, second one-year penalty under rules forbidding those serving suspensions from working with others operating under the WADA Code. His argument was that the Chinese version of the latest WADA Code had not been translated from English by Chinada, the national anti-doping agency, and therefore he had overlooked the addition to the banned list of a substance he had long prescribed for Sun.

FINA stated that Dr Ba was ‘not a member of the Chinese team’ in Incheon. That overlooked the fact that he was pictured on the deck wearing an accreditation for the Asian Games and working with the star turn of the Chinese team. Anyone who has ever had to accredit for a major international sports event will know how unlikely it is for Dr Ba to have been present in his medical capacity or any other without the approval of organisers based on the approval of others, namely the Chinese authorities.

Ming Yang takes the stand and big screen - Photo Courtesy: Craig Lord sunyangMon5

Ming Yang takes the stand and appears on the big screen at her son Sun Yang’s CAS hearing in November 2019 – Photo Courtesy: Craig Lord

Ming’s breaking of ranks with the CSA is significant and is likely to be shut down. China is big business for FINA, an international federation that, at the behest of the China Swimming Association, FINA created an award just for Sun: the “Outstanding Contribution to Swimming Popularity in China” award.

Many of the International federation’s biggest commercial partners are Chinese, which goes some way to explaining why FINA banished its regulatory neutrality to support the legal case of Sun against WADA and why, under a giant World-Championship banner declaring “Dive into Peace”, war broke out on the podium in Gwangju, Korea, last year, swimmers opining that they felt ignored and overlooked by the international federation and felt that Sun was receiving favourable treatment.

Among remaining questions in the Sun saga, is what WADA lead counsel Richard Young described as “concerns over intimidation” of anti-doping officers as the CAS hearing contemplated the roles of Dr. Ba, his boss Dr. Han Zhaoqi, the deputy director of the Zhejiang Anti-Doping Agency who also serves as a member of Sun’s science team, and Hao Cheng, the head of the Chinese Swimming Association.

All three urged Sun to remove his blood sample from the chain of custody in 2018. All three remain in place at the heart and helm of Chinese swimming.

Swimming World’s coverage of Sun Yang & FINA Vs WADA At the Court of Arbitration for Sport




  1. Bojan Hudec

    Basically, if you have a lot of money, rules do not apply. The rest can just watch the games. Nothing new in the eyes of the wealthy nor in the our eyes.

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      Both his mom and himself are scapegoas

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        When you and your team destroy a sample container and refuse to take urine test, you are not innocent. If a policeman give uou a DUI test stick and you refuse to take the test, 99.99998% chance you are DUI, they other trace chance is you are a coronavirus patient.

  2. Carrie Power

    FINA needs to be held accountable for their actions too. Fina, Sun Yang, the CSA (Chinese Swimming Association) and Chinada are all criminals of the ethics of sport.

  3. Howard Hay

    Well I’ll be the first to concede that the Chinese authorities win hands down for covering up all things (viruses, political detainees, organ harvesting, sport cheat, you name it).

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      Desmond John

      that’s the personal statement of Sun’s Mom. if any other Chinese athletes were dirty also, then the blood tests before every international sport event will tell you the result. besides, organ harvesting is also a rumor created by anti-China religious group FLG for a long time without any solid evidence or record. mixing up sun’s cases with other Chinese issues only show up your very low IQ.

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        yes,you are a calm person.

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        Organ harvesting is soooo true. I was a doctor in china and still have so many friend doctors in china. Yep my colleges were called to harvest the organs in a executive science. It was still damn warm when they got it.

        Also during the coronavirus outbreak, chinese gov is put full force in prison to make prisoners to makes those protection gears. I have friends are prison police officers. Their prison one time got panelized because when one prisoner is making the commercial clothes ( like hm, gap you name it), his ID was falling into the clothing batch and was packed away. They were afraid it is goons be a big political scandal if the company unpacked the parcels and found out a prinsoners ID (number ) in it. Many clothes were made by heavy labors in china but done by subcontract so hm or customer would not have knew who made it. And… many prison dorm to this day still don’t have Air conditioners. Can you imagine you live in GA or TX but with no AC? The labor factory inside the prison does have AC, so many prefer rather work 10 hrs a day in the heavy labor then inside their dorms. Why I know, because I have friend was once a prison for 3yrs. And don’t let me starts with how she was treated during prosecution and in prison. If you dare to reply my comments I will tell her story in my next comments… from an honest Chinese

    • avatar
      Howard Hay

      As a chinese individual currently living in China. I just wanna say citizens are 100% safe now (2nd March) regarded to coronavirus. All of people are self-quarantined at home no matter where you from ( no matter of human right, we just dont want to die) which means we basically cut off the source of varus infection.

      For political detainees and sport cheat, I do agree that happened to most countries like U.S & Australia. U can just google it for result.

      Lastly organ harvesting, I never heard it anyway. Can u share thr offical source to prove me if it really happened?

      • avatar
        Sam Liu

        I’m Chinese as well but have to say that there’s at least no brainless moron in US or Australia like Sun’s mum that expose a large part of their ugly side, for a purpose on the opposite side.

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      As a Chinese, I don’t really agree with things you’ve said.

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        If a police give you a DUI test kit and you refuse to do the exhale exam, 99.99999% chance you are DUI. This is just common sense. Go watch the CAS released videos your self. Sun yang is so arrogant in his court appearance the translator basically saved him by omitting many offensive words he used.

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  4. Pamela Goldsbro

    Just another scam story for him to try to work the system. As if his mother is going to speak out against the Chinese Government.

  5. Dave Nicholson

    This is a brave stance for her to take and likely the first honest assessment of what’s actually going on here to come out of Sun’s camp. Her claim that her son in a pawn being used by the Chinese state-sponsored sports system seems a bit self-serving but also reasonable given what we know about that system. She’s also taking a huge risk here. She’s attacking the system that has made her son a huge star in China. She’s also attacking her son’s claims of innocence. Incredible stuff.

  6. Bill Strömberg

    wtf…. if this is from Sun Yangs mother, then the CSA is in trouble.

  7. Emily Austin

    Whomever has been pulling the strings does not negate the fact that rules were broken. Sun’s punishment should stand. But I hope others who may have had a hand in the systematic rule-dodging will face penalties as well

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    WADA must investigate this thoroughly. The sports community deserves to know the truth

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        I’m afraid he or she really is a Chinese.I don’t think people in other countries understand what 小粉蛆means.

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      Michael Lee


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  12. avatar

    I am Chinese, please note that not all Chinese support Sun Yang. Many people hate him very much.

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    As a Chinese people I feed ashamed and I need to say that for us , people really love sports, the most of us enjoy clean sports and real sports, and don’t support such behavior at all. Please don’t judge us thinking all of us agree with what they did.

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    There’s a mistake. Yang is his mother’s family name and Ming is her given name. Sun Yang got his mother’s family name as his given name.

  16. avatar
    Baby Hui

    Her mum is a great whistle blower on her own right. As Sun Yang sunk down as doomed, his desperate mother is trying to bring down the whole wicked system. Bravo!

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    Each of us should keep calm before we know the truth. Those who do not obey the rules will be punished as they should, but as the public, we should not blindly blame or insult anyone. There is an old saying in China: man is doing, and heaven is watching. As viewers, we should not be discriminated against or influenced by individual media. We should all believe that time will give us the best answer!

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    我们鄙视作弊,我们希望真正的幕后黑手得到惩罚。以上是我们的共识,也是每一位捍卫体育正义,生活在文明社会且有良知的人的共识。WAIT AND SEE,TIME WILL TELL。

    First of all, on behalf of the readers, please allow me to thank the author for his follow-up reports for several consecutive days. We appreciate your objective report. But it’s a pity that in these days, we have seen emotional netizens abusing Sun Yang, even China’s political and social system, with offensive words. As a Chinese and a world citizen with a bottom line of conscience. I feel sad. We love sports. We don’t accept cheating. Because of this, we have the strictest Anti Doping laws. If Sun Yang violates the law, the Chinese people will not shield him. But we will not allow arbitrary accusations and distorted facts.

    Secondly, we return to this event. Sun Yang’s first mistake was to get in the way of work, not drugs. If he knew that, why did he shout to cancel Sun Yang’s record?

    If you suspect Sun Yang is on drugs, please look at Sun Yang’s competition and photos. It’s impossible for a drug addict to swim all over his abdominal muscles in the pool. How can you bear to say that the muscles that people have developed in 20 years are addicted to drugs?

    Third, please don’t let the media blind you. The world’s media is full of lies and prejudices. I’ve seen a British newspaper report with my own eyes. It used pictures of Chinese newspapers to write an article. Hong Kong police beat people violently. Chinese human rights are not there. Do you know the original name of this report in China? Hong Kong police will defend the people to the death and resist the mob. Therefore, never trust the English media that report on China or the Chinese newspapers that report on the United States.

    Why do people always scold the United States, China and Russia? No one blames Laos, Vietnam? Because when you scold, you know who the real strong is!

    We despise cheating, and we want the real behind the scenes to be punished. The above is our consensus. It is also the consensus of everyone who defends sports justice, lives in a civilized society and has conscience。WAIT AND SEE,TIME WILL TELL。

    • avatar
      A true Marxist

      “It’s impossible for a drug addict to swim all over his abdominal muscles in the pool. ”

      What is wrong with you? Even a twelve-year-old can sense the absurdity in your logic.

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        That’s not the point. If sun Yang violates the rules, he can be punished according to the rules. This is his personal behavior. But we oppose the escalation of this into gratuitous insults and hatred against China

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      第三部分 个人的一些想法

      I have a lot to say. In order to be clear enough, I’ll divide it into several parts:

      Part one: problems in your article
      1. Don’t you think “the strictest” is a bit absolute? Maybe I’m relatively ignorant. But when was the award awarded?
      2.Is there any relationship between drug use and abs? There are so many drug addicts in the sports world over years, if they can get rid of their crimes because of their abs, I believe that strong stimulants will start advertising on the screen of times square, and they will be out of stock every Black Friday. “[PS: I’m looking forward to you raising photos of abs in the court as evidence.”]
      3. “Never trust the English media reporting China, nor the Chinese newspapers reporting America”??? Don’t you think that’s a little extreme? If they really deserve “never be believed”, you think they can live till now?
      4. “Why do people always scold the United States, China and Russia? No one blames Laos, Vietnam? Because when you scold, you know who the real strong is! ” What is this??? What does it have to do with this topic? Look through it from another part of view: as a country, as long as it’s the “non strong” in your mouth, it can not be blamed?Okey, so you mean that the main reason of all these things is just that our country has developed?
      5. “Real behind the scenes”. What are you trying to say? I don’t seem to see the real behind the scenes in this complicated and simple thing:an athlete did something wrong so he is being punished.That’s it.

      Part two: read your comments and the article together
      Actually, I was confused when typing these words, because I found that you didn’t seem to read the article you commented on at all.
      “Sun Yang’s fault comes first. He is accused of obstructing his work rather than taking drugs. If he knows that, why does he shout to cancel Sun Yang’s record? ” I think this article wants to say that according to what Sun Yang’s mother said, they think that Sun Yang’s accusation, in addition to violent anti prosecution, may also have problems with the three Champions contested in September 2014 Incheon Asian Games in South Korea. That’s why he felt he should reconsider those awards.
      About this, I’m not somebody who has seen the whole story by himself.So I have no right to say much, but according to that, it seems to be true.

      Part three:some details
      1. There are some wrong words in your Chinese part.
      2. As a person who “defends sports justice, lives in a civilized society and has conscience”, your words ware not my consensus.

      At last, in my part of view , I think our athlete did do something wrong[Ps:and the people who are trying to lead this topic to other things that have nothing do with this is also wrong].
      It is embarrassing ,but I think we should just learn from it and do better next time.It not a disaster.You don’t need to be so anxious.

    • avatar
      Minzhu Yao

      You are trying to sound objective and specific. 就事论事。 However, Chinese society has a systemic problem. No one respects the rules and laws, because they are not perceived as sacred via a due process. Chinese laws are oppressive by nature because they are imposed by one class to another. This perception then permeates to every corner of the Chinese society. The privileged felt no shame and fear breaking laws, until by accident they stepped out from their jurisdiction, like what happened to Sun Yang this time.

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      Really a doping person wouldn’t have muscles in swimming pool? You can lie to yourself but no way you can fool the rest.

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  19. Denise Richardson

    Who really cares??? He’s guilty. He’s a cheat. Rules need to be enforced.

  20. avatar

    This is just another spiteful western scam trying to attack China by twisting the words from Sun’s mom. The author needs to show evidence and source where he quoted Sun’s mom’s original words.

    • avatar
      Craig Lord - Swimming World Editor-in-Chief

      Absolute rubbish… this story is cited in at least seven references I have before me from Chinese media (I link to one)… not all make precisely the same references, most focussing, but not exclusively, on dissatisfaction with lawyers who will now be replaced, according to all those reports, based on the same note that includes the 2014 revelation.
      You must believe what you want to believe, xlai, but if ‘spiteful western scam’ is the best you can come up with given all that has come to pass, you need to try a lot harder (your view being wildly far of the mark).

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        yes, but seven references are all from one source, Sun’s mother, we need also the vioces from other involving litigants to find out which part is true and which is not.
        Now the medias already fixed “drug”, “cheat” after Sun’s name, even swimming world, and truth is till now there’s no direct evedence show Sun is using drug.

        according to release from CAS, it says ” 2) that doping tests performed on the Athlete shortly before and after the aborted doping control in September 2018 were negative, and 3) that in the absence of any evidence that the Athlete may have engaged in doping activity since 4 September 2018, including on the occasion of the FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South
        Korea in July 2019, the results achieved by the Athlete in the period prior to the CAS award being
        issued should not be disqualified.”

        This point has been careless missed by most of medias, so no one focuses on the details of the case , no one cares about if SUN is clean.

        I am not saying SUN is doing right, he has paid for his behavior.

        but meadias are selling reports to the public not based on evidence and truth, but what people want to belive, admit it.

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      A true Marxist

      Xlai:You should be ashamed of exaggerating to the country level. When someone says fxxk your mom, she only means to fxxk your mom, not China. Your behavior is similar to what SY is doing right on Weibo.

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      Can you translate what Sun Yangs mom said? The translator basically saved sun yang from life ban to 8 years by omitting many offensive and arrogant words he used. I can’t believe after watching the voter videos still has so many Chinese tried to defend him. We have many honest swimming athletes in china and they were corporative during doping test, but not sun. He deserves what he got.

  21. avatar

    Come on above Chinese who claims no organ harvesting in China. Ask your doctor friends ( in Province and major city ) is organ harvest the most common thing in China. No official results though as china is heavily prosecute any news or data like that. Chinese has no tradition to donate body or organs yet so many people get organ transplant, where are they from? When I was in medical school the dead body we the students used has a one big bullet hole in his head.

  22. avatar
    rick sterling

    A few facts:
    * Sun Yang was taking medication trimetazidine since 2008 when it was NOT banned.
    * It was added to banned list in Jan 2014 which is NOT translated to Chinese. Hence he and his doctor did not know. That was his ADRV. FINA correctly considered that the circumstances show be considered and went light on him.
    * Sun Yang has had about 200 tests – all negative.
    * In 2017 he was tested by the same Doping Control officer and something happened between them. He wrote a complaint about her.
    * This is same DCO who arrived at 10 pm 4 Sept 2018. Never the less, all was going OK until he saw the assistant photographing him during blood test. He became upset and asked to review their documentation. This was found to be NOT in compliance with CHINADA standards nor WADA Guidelines. The ISTI which has much lower standards is not translated to Chinese.
    * Sun Yang then doubted the authenticity of the collection team. He asked his doctor for advice. His doctor said to discontinue the test and keep the blood sample.
    * The DCO said they could not leave without the equipment so the only way to keep the blood sample was to break the bottle holding the blood bag.
    * Most importantly the DCO did NOT tell in writing or verbally that his conduct would be seen as a failure to comply or ADRV. He and his team did not know these would be potential consequences. The DCO even signed a statement indicating the test was aborted because of lack of certified staff.
    * This is an abomination of fairness and “fair sport”.