CHINESE swimmer Sun Yang said he will “definitely” appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal against the Court of Arbitration for Sport decision to ban him from swimming for eight years.
“This is unfair. I firmly believe in my innocence,” Sun said. “I will definitely appeal to let more people know about the truth.”
The CAS yesterday upheld an appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency, ruling that Sun had refused to cooperate with drug sample collectors during a controversial visit to his home in September 2018.
Swimming federation FINA said it will implement the CAS decision.
WADA had appealed to CAS after FINA had ruled that the doping sample collection at Sun’s home was invalid.
“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 eight-year period of ineligibility, commencing on the date of the present arbitral award,” it added.
CAS ruled that Sun’s world championship results should stand because he passed doping tests before and after the aborted 2018 control.
Sun was found guilty of refusing to complete a doping test conducted by the international testing company IDTM on September 4, 2018, although he argued that the Doping Control Officer and her assistants lacked sufficient authorization and credentials.
“In particular, the panel found that the personnel in charge of the doping control complied with all applicable requirements as set out in the ISTI (International Standard for Testing and Investigation),” the CAS said.
“More specifically, the athlete failed to establish that he had a compelling justification to destroy his sample collection containers and forego the doping control when, in his opinion, the collection protocol was not in compliance with the ISTI.”
The statement added that it was “one thing, having provided a blood sample, to question the accreditation of the testing personnel while keeping the intact samples in the possession of the testing authorities.
“It is quite another thing, after lengthy exchanges and warnings as to the consequences, to act in such a way that results in destroying the sample containers, thereby eliminating any chance of testing the sample at a later stage.”
The Chinese Swimming Association was “deeply sorry” about the decision.
“We are deeply sorry (for the decision),” said the association. “The CSA has always held a zero-tolerance stance on doping and attached much importance on athletes’ anti-doping education.”
The CSA said the international testing company IDTM fielded sample collectors “without professional training and eligible credentials” to test Sun in 2018.
WADA for it’s part said it “welcomes the ruling.”
WADA Director General Olivier Niggli said WADA will “continue to review diligently all anti-doping decisions taken by Code Signatories.”