Swiss Federal Tribunal Still To Rule On Sun Yang Appeal Against Eight-Year Ban For Manipulation

Sun Yang - Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

The Swiss Federal Tribunal (SFT), the last court of appeal for Sun Yang after the Chinese swimmer received an eight-year ban from the World Anti-Doping Agency for ‘manipulation’ of an anti-doping test sample, has confirmed that there is no decision in the case as yet.

Sun’s initial appeal, made in April, was not the first in a long process that ended up in a hearing before three judges at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) last November aheads of a ruling in favour of WADA in February. Last month, Sun’s lawyers lodged a second appeal that aims to have the eight-year ban reduced.

The SFT Cases 4A_192/2020 and 4A_318/2020  remain open, the court confirmed to inquiries from the Chinese media.

Sun’s Swiss law firm, Bonnard Lawson, had already confirmed that Sun had lodged an appeal on April 28. Now, the South China Morning Post reports the law firm stating:

“On 15 June 2020, Mr. Sun Yang filed an application for revision of the same award in addition to the setting-aside application.”

The second appeal means that the eight year ban could be reduced rather than dismissed entirely. “However, the SFT will only rule in Sun’s favour if they find procedural failings with the CAS trial last November,” reporter Jonathan White at the SCMP notes before quoting the rest of the law form’s statement:

“Please note that during the proceedings, Mr. Sun Yang and the below counsel will not give any interviews or provide further information on the proceedings. Mr. Sun Yang will continue to firmly defend his legitimate rights and prove his innocence. He would like to express his gratitude to swimming fans and the public for their consistent support.”

The SMCP notes that the statement is signed by Fabrice Robert-Tissot of Bonnard Lawson along with Christopher Boog and Philippe Bartsch of Schellenberg Wittmer, another Swiss law firm. Schellenberg Wittmer were hired by RUSADA, the Russian Anti-doping Agency, in their own fight against penalties. The same lawyers also helped clear 39 Russian athletes and get their bans overturned in 2018.

The decision of the SFT will be made on technical and procedural grounds, not on the rights and wrongs of the WADA Code, CAS – in common with the International Olympic Committee and FINA – being subject to the provisions of Swiss law as it is based in Switzerland.

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Ja Bounce
3 years ago

Break the rules, pay the consequences… Shouldn’t be a n afterthought.

Evan Townsend
3 years ago

When are we gonna strip him of his records/medals? Grant Hackett should still be the 1500m recordholder.