Chi­nese swim­mer Sun’s case to be heard in pub­lic

The Peterborough Examiner - - Sports - GRA­HAM DUN­BAR

GENEVA — Chi­nese swim­mer Sun Yang will get the rare pub­lic trial he asked for to an­swer an appeal by the World Anti-Dop­ing Agency that could lead to his ban from the 2020 Olympics.

The open hear­ing by the Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion for Sport will prob­a­bly be in Switzer­land but is “un­likely to be be­fore the end of Oc­to­ber,” the court said on Tues­day.

Sun is fol­low­ing an­other three­time Olympic swim­ming cham­pion, Michelle Smith de Bruin of Ire­land, as the only ath­letes opt­ing not to have a closed-door hear­ing in the sports court’s 35-year his­tory. She lost her case in 1999.

His lawyers said last month that Sun “ob­jects to be­ing tried by the Aus­tralian press.”

De­tails of ev­i­dence in the pre­vi­ously con­fi­den­tial court process were pub­lished on the eve of the world cham­pi­onships held last month in South Korea.

Swim­mers from Aus­tralia, Bri­tain, and the United States ob­jected to Sun be­ing al­lowed to com­pete in Gwangju while the appeal case was pend­ing. Af­ter Sun won the 200 and 400 me­tres freestyle events, medal­lists from Aus­tralia and Bri­tain made silent protests at the podium.

China’s first Olympic swim­ming cham­pion won two gold medals at the 2012 Lon­don Olympics and one in Rio de Janeiro. He could be banned from the Tokyo Games next year be­cause of in­ci­dents at his home in China last Septem­ber. A col­lec­tion team sent to take blood and urine sam­ple failed to com­plete its work in an es­ca­lat­ing late-night dis­pute.

Sun dis­puted an of­fi­cial’s cre­den­tials, and a vial of blood handed over to his en­tourage was de­stroyed with a ham­mer.

WADA chal­lenged swim body FINA’s ver­dict in Jan­uary that a warn­ing was enough for Sun, who served a three-month ban in 2014 for a pos­i­tive test.

The first case in­volv­ing a sub­stance then classed as a stim­u­lant was con­ducted in rel­a­tive se­crecy in China and only later an­nounced by FINA.

The CAS hear­ing should be the first in pub­lic since the Euro­pean Court of Hu­man Rights last year said ath­letes should have more rights to open the sports court to scru­tiny.

In the only pre­vi­ous pub­lic trial, Smith de Bruin chal­lenged a four-year ban im­posed by FINA in 1998 af­ter the At­lanta Olympics for al­legedly tam­per­ing with a urine sam­ple by adding al­co­hol.

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