China's Sun Yang as suspended for eight years -- the maximum penalty -- by the Court of Arbitration for Sport last year for destroying a sample during an surprise doping test in 2018 Photo: AFP/File
tokyo 2020 olympics

Chinese swimmer Sun Yang handed Tokyo Olympics lifeline


China's star swimmer Sun Yang, who is fighting to save his career after a doping controversy, has been given new hope of competing at the Olympics after China said reigning world champions were eligible for Tokyo.

The China Swimming Association's announcement came as the three-time Olympic champion prepares for a new tribunal hearing over his refusal to give a doping sample when testers visited his home in September 2018.

Sun, the 1,500 meters world-record holder, won the 200 meters and 400 meters at the 2019 world championships in South Korea, where he faced protests on the podium from fellow swimmers over his doping record.

The China Swimming Association laid out its eligibility requirements for the Olympics on Thursday, saying all gold medalists at the 2019 world championships can participate.

The 29-year-old is not taking part in this week's Chinese championships and Olympic qualifiers in Quingdao, according to Chinese media.

Sun was suspended for the maximum eight years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in February last year refusing to give samples during a surprise doping test where a vial of his blood was smashed with a hammer.

But Switzerland's top court overturned the ban in December, in a surprise decision in which it said the CAS was guilty of bias.

Sun will reappear before the sports tribunal from May 24-28, just two months before the Tokyo Olympics.

Sun has fiercely protested his innocence in the testing affair, claiming the inspectors did not produce documents proving their identities.

It was not Sun's first doping controversy: he was suspended for three months in 2014 after testing positive for the stimulant trimetazidine, in a case that was only made public after he had served most of the sentence.

© 2021 AFP

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

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He is a cheat. Ban him from the Olympics.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

He is not the only one.

Many chinese athlets are under doping.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Everyone deserves a second chance.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

He has had 2nd chances. Another good reason for other swimmers not to come to Tokyo. Not in 2021 anyway.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Well, he can have a third chance then.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Dope for the dope by the dopes.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Maybe the Chinese will just send a robot in his stead.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The Olympics, always a fine example of: Better living thru chemistry.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

China isn't any worse than most other nations for doping. Russia, The USA, UK, Jamaica and several other teams have many more convicted dopers in their ranks. Its widespread in many sports at all levels.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

John NounMay 4  12:28 pm JST

Well, he can have a third chance then.

LOL! :-)

In all seriousness, I'm so indifferent about this because the "2021" Summer Olympics is a bust and if by some miracle it does happen you're not going to have all the top athletes and countries competing so any medal won will have very little meaning. At least it would for me if I was competing.

1 ( +1 / -0 )


Clean athletes don't order their bodygards to assault the staff organising the drug tests, and then smash the vial with a hammer.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Is anyone really surprised that he'll be allowed to swim?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm sitting on the fence here. No, he should not have acted the way he did. But why on earth would officials appear at his place without the proper ID. Drug testing is vital and it has to be done properly, otherwise any Tom Dick or Harry can just take your specimen for god knows what purpose.

If Sun wants to cheat he should get expert advice from the Russians.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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