The Chinese multiple world and Olympic swimming champion Sun Yang has been banned for eight years after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) upheld the World Anti-Doping Agency’s appeal against a decision by swimming’s governing body Fina to clear him of a doping offence.
The decision means Sun will not be allowed to defend his 200 metres freestyle title at the Olympic Games in Tokyo and effectively ends his career. Sun was accused of smashing the vials containing his blood after a row with a team of Fina drug-testers at his home in September 2018.
The 28-year-old, his mother and entourage allegedly interfered with the Fina team’s efforts to get samples because they did not believe the testers were properly accredited or qualified. Sun, who had already served a three-month ban for an earlier offence, was cleared by a subsequent Fina investigation, a decision which prompted a mixture of fury and incredulity around the swimming world.
That was evident at the World Aquatics Championships in South Korea in July 2019, when Sun claimed his 10th and 11th world titles but also clashed with Australia’s Mack Horton and Britain’s Duncan Scott during medal ceremonies.
Wada welcomed the decision and the agency’s director general Olivier Niggli said: “Wada decided to appeal the original Fina ruling having carefully reviewed it and having concluded that there were a number of points that seemed to be incorrect under the Code.