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Chinese Olympic and world swimming champion Sun Yang (孙杨) were handed an eight-year ban as the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) upheld the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s appeal on Friday.
In 2012, Sun Yang became the first Chinese man to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming. By winning the 200-meter freestyle, he became the first swimmer in history to win Olympic gold medals in the 200, 400, and 1500 meter freestyle events
“The appeal filed on 14 February 2019 by the World Anti-Doping Agency against the decision issued on 3 January 2019 by the Doping Panel of the Federation Internationale de Natation is upheld,” CAS said in its ruling.
“Mr. Sun Yang is sanctioned with an 8 (eight) year period of ineligibility, commencing on the date of the present arbitral award,” it added.
The CAS held only the second public hearing in November 2019 after WADA appealed against FINA’s decision that Sun was not guilty of doping rule violation.
According to The Sunday Times, Sun and his team were reported to have been smashing vials of blood samples with a hammer in front of anti-doping testers following an out-of-competition test at his home on the night between 4 and 5 September 2018.
Sun refused to complete a doping test conducted by the international testing company IDTM on September 4, 2018, saying the Doping Control Officer and her assistants lacked sufficient authorization and credentials.
His case was later heard by swimming’s world governing body FINA, who decided on January 3, 2019, that the swimmer was not guilty of anti-doping rule violations. WADA disagreed and appealed the decision. Then Sun asked for a public hearing.
Sun Yang won gold in the 200m freestyle at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, as well as the 400m and 1,500m freestyle at the 2012 Olympics in London. The 28-year-old also claimed 200m and 400m freestyle titles at the 2019 FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea.
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