WADA to Challenge FINA Decision to Let Sun Yang Compete

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Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

Three-time Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Sun Yang of China is facing a lifetime ban again after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) elected to challenge FINA’s ruling to let Sun compete after allegedly smashing a vial of blood with a hammer during a drug test in September.

Multiple news outlets, including The Sydney Morning Herald, have reported that WADA “didn’t feel a warning was sufficient for Sun after the bizarre incident during a routine out-of-competition test at his home in China in November.” The case would go to the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) and could lead to a ban from competition.

According to a report from The Sacramento Bee, the CAS has not set a date for the hearing and it is unclear if the appeal case can be resolved before the World Championships in Gwangju this summer.

According to reports at the time, “the incident involved Sun and his bodyguard smashing a sealed vial of the swimmer’s blood with a hammer, destroying the testing sample.” Sun claims that the officials had failed to produce proper documentation for the testing, resulting in Sun attempting to reject the testing. His statement makes no mention of destroying the sample with a hammer as reported.

Sun Yang has previously served a 3-month ban for doping that took effect back in May of 2014. That ban was a result of a positive test for the substance Trimetazidine at the 2014 Chinese Nationals, and resulted in the stripping of his 1500 National Title. The ban, however, was not announced until after it had already been completed.

Dr. Ba Zhen, who has been Sun’s longtime doctor, was also banned for a year for his role in that incident, and The Sunday Times reports he was also involved in Sun’s more recent incident with anti-doping officials in September.

Sun has won three Olympic gold medals in his career with the 400 and 1500 free in 2012, and the 200 free in 2016. He also still currently holds the world record in the 1500 free that he set at the 2012 Olympics. Sun, 27, is the reigning World Champion in the 200 and 400 free.

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