Chinese swimmer Sun Yang’s doping ban overturned

GENEVA (AFP) – Chinese swimmer and triple Olympic champion Sun Yang won a huge victory seven months before the Tokyo Olympics with Switzerland’s top court overturning an eight-year doping ban.

The 29-year-old – the first Chinese swimmer to win Olympic gold – will now have a chance to state his case again at a second hearing by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), based in the Swiss city of Lausanne, before the Tokyo games next year.

He is now free to compete until his case is heard again, meaning he could aim to defend his 200m title in the delayed Olympic games.

The swimmer is accused of destroying a blood vial with a hammer when collectors visited his home in September 2018 during an out-of-competition doping test.

The Swiss Federal Supreme Court said in a statement yesterday that it had “approved the request by the Chinese swimmer Sun Yang for revision of the arbitral award of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne dated February 28, 2020… on the grounds of bias of one of the arbitrators of the CAS”.

Sun’s lawyers had previously accused CAS panel chairman Franco Frattini of bias and putting out anti-China tweets.

“The award of the CAS is set aside. The CAS will have to render a new award in the case of Sun Yang in a different composition of the panel,” the federal court said.

File photo shows China’s Sun Yang gesturing during a swim training session. PHOTO: AFP