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China's Olympic swimming champion Sun Yang banned for eight years

  • News Desk

    Reuters

Lausanne, Switzerland   /   Fri, February 28, 2020   /   04:37 pm
China's Olympic swimming champion Sun Yang banned for eight years In this file photo taken on July 22, 2019 China's Sun Yang reacts after competing in a heat for the men's 200m freestyle event during the swimming competition at the 2019 World Championships at Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Center in Gwangju, South Korea. China's triple Olympic swimming gold medalist Sun Yang has been found guilty of refusing to give a doping sample and banned for eight years in an eagerly-awaited judgement from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Feb. 28, 2020. (AFP/Ed Jones)

China's world and Olympic swimming champion Sun Yang was handed an eight-year ban on Friday, a sanction that rules him out of this year's Tokyo Games, after he missed an out-of-competition test for doping.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) accepted an appeal from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) against a decision by swimming body FINA to clear Sun of wrongdoing for his conduct during the test in September 2018.

The 28-year-old is China's top swimmer, having won two gold medals at the 2012 London Olympic games and another in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, and the case has attracted huge interest in his homeland.

A FINA report said Sun questioned the credentials of the testers before members of his entourage smashed vials containing his blood samples with a hammer.

Sun had argued during the CAS hearing that the testers failed to prove their identity and behaved in an unprofessional manner.

He competed at last year’s world championships in South Korea under the shadow of the appeal, and three rivals snubbed him after races.

"The CAS Panel unanimously determined, to its comfortable satisfaction, that the athlete violated Article 2.5 FINA DC [Tampering with any part of Doping Control]," the CAS statement said.

"In particular, the Panel found that the personnel in charge of the doping control complied with all applicable requirements as set out in the ISTI (International Standard for Testing and Investigation).

"More specifically, the athlete failed to establish that he had a compelling justification to destroy his sample collection containers and forego the doping control when, in his opinion, the collection protocol was not in compliance with the ISTI."