Sun Yang launches last-ditch attempt to get to Tokyo Olympics

Australian Associated Press
·3-min read
Pictured here, disgraced Chinese swimmer Sun Yang.
Sun Yang is taking his appeal to the Swiss federal court in a last-ditch bid to compete in the Tokyo Games. Pic: Getty

Disgraced Chinese swimmer Sun Yang has made a last-ditch attempt for eligibility at the Tokyo Olympics by lodging an appeal against his eight-year ban.

The controversial 28-year-old was with the suspension in February following a drug test in September 2018 when where a vial of his blood was destroyed by his mother.

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The Australian reports that Yang's appeal was lodged to the Swiss federal court on April 29 in response to the long punishment handed to him by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Yang has claimed the correct testing procedures were not followed and believed the drug tester was not fully accredited to take the blood.

The world swimming body FINA had originally cleared Yang to compete after an internal investigation of the blood testing furore, but the World Anti-Doping Agency successfully appealed the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Sun was again in the crosshairs of WADA last month after being called up for national training for the Tokyo Olympics in an apparent breach of his doping ban.

Chinese media said Sun had been included on a list of swimmers called up for national training between April 1 and June 30.

Media published a notice purporting to show Sun's name on the list for preparations for the Olympics, which have been moved to the summer of 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Chinese Swimming Association (CSA) subsequently said that the 1500m freestyle world record-holder is "still serving (his) suspension".

"The previous notice is invalid," CSA said in a short statement.

Swimming rival supports long ban

Unless he is successful with an appeal, the 28-year-old will not be eligible for the Tokyo Games in 2021 and his career will effectively be over.

Sun has kept a low profile since he was banned. It was his second doping violation, having been suspended for three months in 2014 for taking a banned substance.

Swimming rival Duncan Scott welcomed the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s decision to ban Sun Yang for eight years after he was on the receiving end of a ‘disgusting’ sledge from the Chinese swimmer.

The British star followed in Mack Horton’s footsteps at the 2019 world championships and refused to share the podium with Sun after the 200m freestyle final in South Korea.

That prompted an angry response from Sun, who told Scott ‘you are a loser, I am a winner’.

“I fully respect and support the decision that has been made and announced by the Court of Arbitration for Sport,” Scott said of the eight-year ban.

“I believe in clean sport and a level playing field for all athletes and I trust in CAS and WADA to uphold these values.”

with Yahoo Sport staff