2020/04/26

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Sun Yang is no longer invited to Olympic training


Chinas most celebrated swimmer has been unceremoniously dropped from participating in a training camp for Chinas Olympic squad.
Sun Yang, a three-time Olympic gold medalist, was handed an eight-year competition ban in February by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) for a drug test gone awry at his home in September 2018.
Despite this ruling, Sun was still invited to participate in a three-month training camp, from April to June, in his home province of Zhejiang, according to an official notice published by the Beijing Youth Daily on Wednesday.
After the notice went viral, the Chinese Swimming Association (CSA) declared that Suns invitation to Olympic training was actually void because of the competition ban which he is reportedly in the process of appealing.
Sun would have been one of the favorites to take home gold at the next Olympics. Now, unless his appeal succeeds or he is granted some kind of clemency, the 28-year-old swimmers career appears over.

The ban comes because of a drug test at Suns home in September 2018 that went very awry, ending with vials of the swimmers blood being smashed with a hammer by a security guard.

Sun maintains that the samples were smashed because the inspectors were unable to show proper identification papers. Hes shared a video of the inspectors signing a paper to this effect and says that the vials were only destroyed after the paper was signed.
One of the inspectors has stepped forward, anonymously, to Chinese state media, describing himself as a construction worker who didnt know the first thing about drug testing and had only come along as a favor for an old middle school classmate.
In the end, however, CAS was not persuaded by Suns arguments, stating:
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. As the Panel noted, it is 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.

This is the second time that Sun has been suspended following a three-month sentence served in 2014 after he tested positive for a stimulant called trimetazidine.
The swimmer claimed that the stimulant had unknowingly got into his blood via a heart medication that he had been taking for years and was previously legal.
That suspension led to some serious drama during the 2016 Rio Olympics with Suns Australian rival Mack Horton calling him a drug cheat, leading to the entire country of China turning against Horton.
Yet more drama played out last year as Horton refused to join Sun on the medal stand at the World Aquatics Championship.
British swimmer Duncan Scott similarly snubbed Sun at another event, leading to Sun smirking and telling Scott, Youre a loser. Im a winner, yeah? as they walked off the stage.

Following the verdict in February, Sun protested his innocence on Weibo, vowing that he would appeal the decision.
Chinese netizens quickly rallied behind the swimmer, speculating that racism and jealousy of Chinas Olympic success was behind the judgment.
However, Sun has since disappeared from public view and hasnt posted anything on Weibo in more than a month.
In the meantime, some Weibo users have abandoned their faith in the swimming star, calling him Sun the Drug King.
I respect your achievements but I oppose your methods, writes one netizen.


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