In the spectacular doping case involving China’s swimming star Sun Yang, the three-time Olympic champion failed in the final instance with his appeal against his more than four-year ban.
The Swiss Federal Supreme Court in Lausanne confirmed the judgment of the International Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). This means that the 30-year-old will not be able to compete again until June 2024, shortly before the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, after Sun missed the Olympic race in Tokyo last year due to his doping penalty.
The judges in Lausanne rejected Sun’s objection on both counts. On the one hand, contrary to Sun’s representation, the CAS decision does not represent a violation of the fundamental principles of the legal system, and on the other hand, his right to a hearing would not have been restricted.
Last June, in a renegotiation of the sensational case, the CAS imposed a ban of four years and three months on the Chinese, retrospectively from February 2020. Four months earlier, the CAS had even given Sun an eight-year ban at the first attempt because his doping sample had been destroyed with a hammer in autumn 2018.
The world association FINA had initially waived a ban, whereupon the World Anti-Doping Agency WADA called the CAS. Sun had defended the act by saying that the inspectors could not be adequately identified. WADA later expressly welcomed the first CAS verdict.
However, this judge’s decision was overturned by the Swiss Federal Supreme Court in December 2020 due to bias of the presiding judge Franco Frattini (Italy). Sun had appealed. The CAS then completely reshuffled the arbitral tribunal.
The controversial Sun, which has repeatedly been accused of doping offenses by its international competitors, is considered a repeat offender. The Asian had already tested positive in 2014.