China’s most decorated swimmer, Sun Yang has been given a maximum 8 year ban for breaking anti-doping rules and a bizarre incident with his mom instructing security to smash his blood sample with a hammer.
Sun had previously been suspended after testing positive for a banned substance in 2014.
Yahoo reports the three-time Olympic gold medalist will miss the 2020 games in Tokyo.
The Court of Arbitration (CAS) ruled that Sun, 28, was guilty of refusing to cooperate with sample collectors during a September 2018 visit to his home. It levied the maximum punishment requested by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which had appealed a decision by the FINA Doping Panel. That group gave Sun a slap on the wrist, determining he had not committed a violation due to incorrect doping control protocol.
The ruling was based on previous transgressions by Sun and follows a rare November hearing in open court that consisted of translation issues.
The visit ended with his mother telling one of Sun’s security guards to smash the container that had Sun’s blood. The guard did so with a hammer.
Sun and his entourage accused the officials of not having the correct paperwork for the drug testing. The six-time Olympic medalist refused to submit to a urine sample.
The issue was initially dealt with by the FINA Doping Panel. It ruled the International Standard for Testing and Investigations (ISTI), the protocol adopted by WADA for drug testing, was not properly followed.
The panel reprimanded Sun and his group, and cited doubts about the credentials shown by the officials in January 2019.
WADA filed an appeal and Sun asked for a public trial. The 20-hour hearing was broadcast from Switzerland on the CAS website and was plagued by translation issues, per the New York Times.
Chinese swimmer Sun Yang explains, at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the circumstances under which his entourage members smashed the vials containing his blood samples pic.twitter.com/tMEpPEqirn
— Reuters (@Reuters) November 15, 2019
The lawyer for WADA told the Times it wasn’t clear if Sun was purposely evasive or could not understand the questions. The verdict was delayed for final translations.
CAS delivers 8-year ban, maximum asked
CAS ruled in a unanimous decision that the officials in charge of the testing “complied with all applicable requirements as set out in the ISTI.” It further found that Sun did not have “compelling justification” to destroy the sample and skip the test even if he believed it to not be in compliance.
“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.”