Drugs cheat Chinese swimmer Sun Yang is banned for eight years for smashing a blood vial with a hammer, as triple Olympic champion’s podium rant at ‘loser’ British rival comes back to haunt him
- Sun Yang has been banned for eight years for a breach of anti-doping rules
- The Chinese swimmer refused to co-operate with sample collectors in 2018
- Rivals declined to join him on the podium at the 2019 World Championships
- Sun shouted ‘you’re a loser’ at Team GB’s Duncan Scott after their 200m contest
Chinese swimmer Sun Yang has been banned for eight years for breaking anti-doping rules and will miss the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport found the three-time Olympic champion guilty of refusing to co-operate with sample collectors during a visit to his home in September 2018 that turned confrontational.
The 6-foot, 7-inch (2-meter) Sun, the first Chinese swimmer to win Olympic gold, has long been a polarizing figure in the pool. Rivals branded him a drug cheat at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, and two competitors refused to stand with him on medal podiums at the 2019 world championships.
Chinese swimmer Sun Yang has been banned for eight years for breaching anti-doping rules
Sun launched into a tirade after his 200m freestyle victory in Gwangju, South Korea, calling bronze medallist Duncan Scott a ‘loser’ when the Briton refused to share the podium with the Chinese athlete who jibed ‘I’m the winner.’
Team GB star Adam Peaty later jumped to Scott’s defence, saying he was ‘completely right’ to refuse to take part in a group photo, and now Sun’s coarse behaviour has come back to bite him.
In a rare hearing in open court in November, evidence was presented of how a security guard instructed by Sun’s mother used a hammer to smash the casing around a vial of his blood. The swimmer had asked CAS for a public trial.
Sun Yang (R) tells Briton Duncan Scott ‘you’re the loser, I’m the winner’ after their 200m duel
A 10-hour hearing broadcast on the court’s website showed Sun to be evasive at times under questioning that was hampered by severe translation issues between Chinese and English. The CAS panel’s verdict was delayed until all parties got a verified translation.
Now banned until February 2028, the 28-year-old Sun cannot defend his 200m freestyle title in Tokyo.
The World Anti-Doping Agency went to CAS after a FINA tribunal only warned Sun. The first ruling was that anti-doping protocol was not followed, making the samples invalid, and cited doubts about credentials shown to him by the sample collection team.
Mack Horton (L) refused to stand on the podium with Sun at the 2019 World Championships
WADA requested a ban of between two and eight years for a second doping conviction.
Sun served a three-month ban in 2014 imposed by Chinese authorities after testing positive for a stimulant that was banned at the time. The ban was not announced until after it ended and he never missed a major event.
That first case led to criticism of FINA for appearing to protect one of the sport’s biggest stars in a key market.