MONTREUX (AFP) – Chinese swimming star Sun Yang, facing a ban of up to eight years for missing an out-of-competition test, told the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Friday (Nov 15) that testers were at fault by failing to identify themselves correctly.
Attending a one-day CAS public hearing in person in a bid to clear his name, Sun, accused of using a hammer to smash a vial containing his own blood sample, maintained his innocence and said testers were unprofessional and ignored protocol.
"If they had been professional and had shown their identification, we would not be here today," Sun said in Chinese, translated by court interpreters.
"The officials were not even capable of proving their identity. How could I allow them to take my sample," added the triple Olympic champion who is a national hero in China.
Sun insisted that documents provided by the testers were invalid.
Sun, winner of 11 world titles, was cleared of wrongdoing in January by Fina, the international swimming federation.
The body confirmed that he had used a hammer to smash a vial containing his own blood sample during the testing session in September 2018 but agreed that testers had failed to produce adequate identification or follow correct protocol.
The ruling outraged the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) who took the matter to CAS demanding a ban of between two and eight years for Sun, who served a doping suspension in 2014, for missing the out-of-competition test.
After being cleared by Fina, Sun was able to compete in the World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, in July, where he won two golds but became a focus of protests from rivals.