Sun blasts 'Illegal' blood collection

He says nurse had no valid credentials, while a tester was said to be a construction worker

BEIJING • Chinese swim star Sun Yang has accused a nurse of not having the correct credentials and therefore collecting his blood illegally, in the wake of last Friday's public hearing over whether he violated anti-doping regulations.

The case centres on an incident at his home in China in September last year, when a hammer was used to smash a vial containing his blood sample during an out-of-competition drug-testing session.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) took the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after Sun was cleared of wrongdoing in January by swimming's governing body Fina.

While the ruling will likely be made only earliest next year, the three-time Olympic gold medallist has since vowed to defend his right to clear his name, releasing a statement on his social media account to back up his allegations.

Writing on Weibo, China's equivalent of Twitter, he said: "She violated provincial regulations for China's nurses. Worse, she did not have a valid nursing qualification certificate or a nursing professional certificate, and only showed me an expired certificate."

Sun also criticised what he called "injustice and unfair treatment" afforded to Chinese athletes following his hearing held in Montreux, Switzerland, posting two pictures - the nursing qualification certificate and the nursing professional certificate.

"According to regulations on China's nurses, those who practise across geographical areas must go through the relevant registration and filing procedures, otherwise they may not practise in areas other than where they are registered," he said.

"If such rules are violated, the relevant medical and health institutions shall make a decision on handling such a case according to the law.

"The World Anti-Doping Regulations and International Standard for Testing and Investigations standards clearly state that the blood inspectors should first comply with the mandatory legal provisions of the country in which the blood collection is conducted.

"The blood inspector had her nurse practice registration for a hospital in Shanghai, so how could she illegally collect my blood in Hangzhou?

"The most critical part was that she only showed me an expired nursing qualification certificate, rather than a valid one, and she also had no nursing professional certificate.

"I am very curious to know how the relevant medical and health institutions in Shanghai will deal with the illegal acts of the blood inspector."

During the hearing, it was also revealed that one of the three International Doping Tests & Management testers was a construction worker with no experience in anti-doping measures, and not a trained professional doping control assistant (DCA).

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, he also admitted to taking photos and videos of Sun, with his "ridiculous" behaviour arousing the suspicions of the 27-year-old.

Although the footage was later deleted, filming is strictly forbidden for chaperones during testing missions.

Insisting on anonymity, the assistant claimed he was providing temporary help as requested by his middle school classmate.

He added: "I knew nothing about the doping test and nothing about my role that night.

"I am a builder and I am always busy at work, day and night. No one ever trained me about the doping test, and it is unnecessary for me to undertake such training.

"I sent my testimony in a written letter to CAS and Wada, and was ready to give my words at a video conference before the public hearing, but no one contacted me."

One of Sun's lawyers, Zhang Qihuai, however, told the Herald that it is unclear if his testimony will "be adopted as reference for evidence because he didn't present at the court".

Under Wada guidelines, DCAs do not need to go through the same level of training as the anti-doping officers in charge of testing, but they still need to follow outlined responsibilities and protocols during the testing process.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 22, 2019, with the headline Sun blasts 'Illegal' blood collection. Subscribe