Olympic Champion Sun Yang Banned Eight Years After Losing Doping Hearing

China’s swim star Sun yang was banned for eight years after breaking anti-doping rules and will miss the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Yang had instructed a security guard to break the casing around his vial of blood to ensure it could not be used for anti-doping testing. The Court of Arbitration for Sport found the Olympic champion guilty of refusing to comply with sample collectors. The court explained their reasoning in a statement saying, “The athlete failed to establish that he had a compelling justification to destroy his sample collection containers and forego the doping control when, in his opinion, the collection protocol was not in compliance”.

Drug cheating has followed Yang in the past, where rivals claimed he was a cheater at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Another protest against Yang’s drug use occurred during the 2019 world championship, when two competitors refused to stand with Yang on the medal podiums.

Sun Yang holds up his gold medal with silver medalist Mack Horton refusing to take his place on the podium after the 400-metre freestyle final at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea (Source: The Associated Press)

Many swimmers despise the act of using performance enhancing substances and give their opinions on drug cheaters freely; to many swimmers, they have no place in sport. The pressure on excelling in sport and performance has grown with larger financial rewards, which has some athletes using performance enhancing drugs. For Sun Yang, the pressure to continue his Olympic victories has come with negative consequence after finally being banned for what could be the rest of his career in swimming.


Featured Image: Sun Yang wins the final of the mens 200-metre freestyle at the 2016 summer Olympics (Source: The Associated Press)

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