Disgraced Chinese swimmer Sun Yang should come clean about the extent of his doping violations, according to a leading US anti-doping official.
USADA chief executive Travis Tygart, the man who helped expose Lance Armstrong, says Sun's best chance to reduce his eight-year doping ban is to shed light on the whole saga.
‘NOT MADE PUBLIC’: Sun's mother alleges Chinese doping cover-up
On Friday Sun was handed an eight-year ban by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), however they were unable to strip him of his medals from the world championships because he was technically ‘clean’ at the time of the event.
Sun was controversially cleared by FINA to take part at the event in 2019 despite having read a report that he smashed vials of his own blood during a doping test in 2018.
The Chinese star has vowed to appeal the CAS decision, which he considers to be an illegitimate ban from the sport.
However, Tygart says Sun's best course of action is to expose anyone who aided and abetted his doping offences.
"I would say his best opportunity to get a reduction on the eight years is not some appeal to the Swiss tribunal but to come clean with everything he knows," Tygart told The Daily Telegraph.
"This includes his conversations with doctors, the FINA representatives and really try to get to the bottom of those allegations."
Lawyer vows to fight Sun Yang suspension
A lawyer for Sun, a hugely popular figure in China, issued a fiery statement reiterating that he will appeal, based on “a series of procedural errors”.
“February 28, 2020 was a dark day. It shows the scene where evil defeats justice and power replaces self-evident truths,” Beijing lawyer Zhang Qihuai said in a statement.
“On this day, CAS listened to prejudice, turned a blind eye to rules and procedures, turned a blind eye to facts and evidence, and accepted all lies and false evidence.”
The statement reasserted Sun's defence that doping officials who came to his home were not qualified or authorised, and it was they who decided not to pursue testing.
Sun will sue a doping inspector who gave “false evidence”, said the lawyer, also accusing the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) of “distorting facts and abuse of power”.
With the Tokyo Olympics just five months away, the reigning 1500m freestyle world record-holder is fighting to save his career and reputation.
A vial of Sun's blood was smashed with a hammer during the contentious testing session in 2018 (reportedly under instruction from his mother), but he was acquitted by world swimming body FINA of anti-doping violations, agreeing that testers failed to produce adequate identification.
But WADA took the matter to CAS, demanding a ban of between two and eight years for missing the out-of-competition test.
In its bombshell judgment, CAS said its panel “unanimously determined” that Sun, whose career has been overshadowed by numerous controversies, had tampered with his doping control.