Lost in translation: Swimmer Sun Yang’s doping case hits interpretation snag

GENEVA (AFP) – Chinese Olympic swimming champion Sun Yang’s anti-doping case, in which he is facing an eight-year ban for missing a drug test, won’t be settled before mid-January because of translation problems, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said.

The Swiss-based court said “some concerns were raised” about the translation of Sun’s testimony from Chinese into English at the one-day hearing on November 15.

The triple Olympic gold medal-winner, who served a doping suspension in 2014, is accused of smashing a blood vial with a hammer following a visit by testers in September last year.

“Although the organisation and the schedule of the public hearing was to the satisfaction of the arbitrators and parties’ counsels, some concerns were raised with respect to the quality of the interpretation of Mr Yang’s testimony,” a CAS statement said.

“The parties are currently preparing an agreed-upon written transcript of the proceedings, including a full translation of Mr Yang’s testimony, which the panel will work from when deliberating and preparing the arbitral award,” CAS said, adding that the case would not be decided before mid-January.

Sun’s CAS hearing, the first in 20 years that was open to the public, was beset by technical difficulties and interpreting errors between Chinese and English which frustrated lawyers and held up proceedings.