Videos of events in my room not admitted in hearing: Sun Yang

Sun Yang is pictured on a TV screen during the public hearing on Friday. The CAS will deliberate and set out its decision on a later date.
Sun Yang is pictured on a TV screen during the public hearing on Friday. The CAS will deliberate and set out its decision on a later date. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

MONTREUX (Switzerland) • Three-time Olympic gold medallist Sun Yang insisted that he had nothing to hide, after a public hearing over his alleged anti-doping rule violation ended in Montreux on Friday.

The Chinese swimmer sat before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to clear his name after the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) appealed against Fina's previous decision in favour of Sun on his alleged violations.

"I am innocent," said Sun, 27.

"I believe the panel will make a fair decision and find me innocent.

"How can the spirit of fair play be achieved if organisations break their own rules? In order to protect my rights as an athlete, I am determined to fight to the end.

"It is important to fight against doping, but it is also important that the regulations are complied with by everyone, including the anti-doping organisation itself.

"Otherwise, everyone here behind me now can be the doping officers without training and officially authorised accreditation."

CAS panel president Franco Frattini closed the one-day hearing as he thanked the nine people, including Sun, who testified in only the second public hearing in its history. The first, in 1999, also involving Fina, had found Irish swimmer Michelle Smith de Bruin guilty of doping.

Frattini told Sun that he has "the full right to be heard and is completely respected".

What led to the hearing was Sun's refusal to complete a doping test conducted by the international testing company IDTM in September last year, saying the doping control officer (DCO) and her two assistants lacked sufficient proper authorisation and credentials.

He was then accused of using a hammer to smash a vial containing his own blood sample. His case was heard by Fina, which decided on Jan 3 that he was not guilty of anti-doping rule violation.

In the CAS hearing, Sun explained he stopped cooperating in the process because he found the DCO assistant's behaviour unprofessional.

"He took out his cellphone and started to film me. He said he was a fan of mine and liked me a lot. This was ridiculous. That's why I started to be suspicious," he said, adding that another reason was that he did not see his or their names on relevant documents.

He also said he had kept piles of photos and even videos detailing the events in his room that night between him and the three officers, but this evidence was not admitted into the hearing.

He said to the three officers and Wada in his final remarks: "But even if I do play those video recordings in court today, would you have the guts to watch them?"

Chinese anti-doping expert Han Zhaoqi, a doctor and professor from Zhejiang College of Sports, said at the hearing that athletes will not refuse to take doping tests if the DCOs have proper credentials.

"I can't call the vials of blood they took 'doping test samples' because they were taken by people who were not properly credentialed and authorised," he said.

"I know that the China Anti-Doping Agency issues DCO credentials to each and every DCO in China, and they also repeatedly stress that athletes should make sure they see the credentials and confirm the DCOs' identifications."

It was reported that Sun was only presented with a Chinese ID card from the officer taking urine samples, while the other officer taking blood samples, though alleging to hold a nurse's certificate, happened to forget to bring it.

Wada clearly disagreed with Sun on the validity issue of the test, holding that the two officers lacking authority and credential letters to perform the test did not tamper with the authenticity of the test, according to Wada guidelines.

Stuart Kemp, Wada deputy director of standards and harmonisation, and also one of the three Wada appellants in court, suggested that the two officers in question could have been anybody as long as their chief, in this case the DCO, had the authority and accreditation.

The CAS panel will deliberate and prepare for an arbitral award setting out its decision on a later date.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 17, 2019, with the headline 'Videos of events in my room not admitted in hearing: Sun'. Print Edition | Subscribe