Montreux - Chinese
multiple Olympic and world swimming champion Sun Yang, facing a ban of
up to eight years for missing an out-of-competition test, told an
appeals court on Friday that doping testers were at fault for failing to
identify themselves correctly.
Attending a one-day open hearing of the Court for Arbitration of
Sport (CAS), Sun, accused of using a hammer to smash a vial containing
his own blood sample, blamed testers for being unprofessional and
"If they had been professional and had shown their identification, we
would not be here today," Sun said in Chinese, translated by court
"The officials were not even capable of proving their identity. How
could I allow them to take my sample?" said the triple Olympic champion
who is a national hero in China and is determined to swim at next year's
Sun, winner of 11 world titles, was cleared of missing the
unannounced test by FINA, the international swimming federation, in
January. But the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) appealed to CAS,
demanding a ban of up to eight years.
Should Sun, 27, be banned for eight years, the career of China's most successful ever swimmer would effectively be over.
Richard Young, WADA counsel, told the hearing of Sun's "pretty
sensational" behaviour which involved tearing up the doping control form
and smashing the blood vial.
He said the doping control team collected a blood and urine sample
but Sun and his entourage blocked their departure when they visited him
unannounced in the Chinese city of Hangzhou in eastern Zhejiang
"The DCO (doping control officer) wanted to leave with the blood
sample. The response from Sun Yang and his entourage was absolutely no
way was this going to happen," he told the CAS hearing.
FINA confirmed in January that Sun had used a hammer to smash a vial
containing his own blood sample during the testing session in September
last year but acquitted him of anti-doping violations, agreeing that
testers had failed to produce adequate identification.
As a result Sun went on to compete in the World Championship in South
Korea in July, winning two titles and facing protests from rivals
unhappy he was allowed to compete. Australian Mack Horton refused to
share a podium with Sun after coming second to him in the 400m
Sun, who served a
three-month doping suspension in 2014 for testing positive for the
stimulant trimetazidine, initially co-operated by giving blood and urine
samples to the tester on September 4 last year.
But his lawyer Ian Meakin said the doping control team did not
provide the required letter of authorisation including the identities of
the doping officials involved.
Representatives of the Swedish firm IDTM that carries out the doping
tests on behalf of FINA, testified that the documentation supplied to
Sun was standard and had been approved by swimming's world governing
In 2018 alone, the letter of authority had been used to collect 3 200 test samples without complaint.
Young pointed out that Sun had undergone 180 doping tests, including
60 conducted by IDTM, with the same identification procedures.
In this case, however the head of Zhejiang province's anti-doping
centre Han Zhaoqi, appearing as a witness for Sun, told the court the
procedure was illegal.
He said he had twice issued instructions to Sun's doctor, Ba Zhen,
not to allow testers to leave with the doping samples because "blood was
collected by a person without valid authorisation... so it was
Ba, who was present at the testing flowing a phone call from Sun, has
been the swimmer's doctor since 2007 and was banned for a year for
supplying him with trimetazidine in 2014.
One WADA official described "out of control" scenes that followed the
testing procedure as Sun's entourage blocked doping control officers
Friday's CAS hearing, the first in 20 years that was open to the
public, was beset by technical difficulties and interpreting errors
between Chinese and English which frustrated lawyers and delayed
proceedings early on.
CAS said that a ruling on Sun's case would not be issued on Friday
following the one-day hearing but at a later date following court