The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is likely to make an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after the Olympic and world champion swimmer Sun Yan served a three-month doping ban in secret.
The CAS said on Tuesday that the swimmer had offered clear and convincing evidence that Trimetazidine was in a prescription drug Yang sometimes takes for heart palpitations. The Court of Arbitration for Sport blamed the Zhejiang Swimming Association for not keeping Sun Yang apprised of the latest World Anti-Doping Agency regulations.
Sun Yang was stripped of his 1500m national title and was fined 5,000 Yuan ($A865). The Olympic Council of Asia, which runs the Asian Games, recently said it will not strip Sun of his Asiad gold medals even though it was unaware of the doping incident.
Yang won three gold medals at the Asian Games in September after he served the unannounced ban.
On Wednesday, a WADA spokesman said the anti-doping agency had not yet received complete details of the case. Drugs violations must be made public within 20 days under Section 14.2.2 of the World Anti-Doping Code. The WADA spokesman remarked WADA has not yet received the full decision regarding this case and it will review the reasons for the decision once it is received and will subsequently decide whether or not to use its independent right of appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
China Anti-Doping Agency (CHINADA) imposed a doping ban of three months on Yang after he tested positive for stimulant Trimetazidine May 17 during the national championships. Sun, the 1,500 metres world record-holder, completed the unannounced ban on August 17. CHINADA remarked it had been too busy with other cases to announce the suspension of Sun. CHINADA deputy director said Zhao Jia remarked Sun Yan is the most famous athlete in China and is known in the world, which means we need to handle his case very cautiously.
Last November, Sun was briefly jailed for driving offences. He was barred from swimming for six months. Sun was also suspended last year from commercial activities after a row with his coach over his friendship with an airline hostess.
In a statement posted on its website, the Chinese Swimming Association (CSA) said the 22-year-old swimmer had made some detours and had some tumbles. It however maintained that Sun Yang is an outstanding athlete who has trained himself to the utmost over a long period of time - even in cases of illness - all for the glory of the country, a feat that is praiseworthy and really not easy. CHINADA also remarked we also hope that friends from the media and all walks of society will continue to care for, support and help Sun Yang to grow.
In the 1990s, Chinese swimming was notorious for doping but cases have become less frequent in the last few years. In 2008, China's top male backstroker Ouyang Kunpeng was banned by the Chinese Swimming Association for life over a positive drugs test in 2008, just before the Beijing Olympics. In 2011, Ning Zetao was banned for a year after he tested positive for Clenbuterol, a performance enhancing drug that is used to lose body fat. In 2013, Li Zhesi was banned for two years for taking the blood-booster EPO.