CHINESE swimmer Sun Yang has his eight-year doping ban lifted by a Swiss Federal Tribunal after racist tweets from an anti-doping official were found.
A number of tweets from the chairman of the three-judge Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) panel, former Italian foreign minister Franco Frattini, were raised by Yang’s lawyers in the effort to have the 29-year-old’s case heard again.
One tweet about animal cruelty from April 23, 2019, read: “Those horrible sadic (sic) Chinese are the shame of mankind!! For how they torture animals they deserve the evil every day! And the Chinese authorities tolerate and encourage.”
Another tweet in 2018 said: “Hell forever for those bastard sadic (sic) Chinese who brutally killed dogs and cats in Yulin, with the complicity of the Chinese authorities.”
These tweets were enough to get his ban overturned meaning the six-time Olympic medalist now looks set to compete in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, although his case is set to be heard by a new jury.
Sun, who is the reigning world and Olympic champion in 200m freestyle and won two gold medals at the 2012 London Games and another at Rio de Janeiro in 2016, was hit with an eight-year ban in February following an incident at his house in 2019.
Apparently, Yang, who also had an earlier anti-doping rule violation against him from 2014, reportedly smashed vials containing blood samples, with the help from his entourage, taken at an out-of-competition test in September 2018.
WADA said in a statement: “The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has been informed of the decision of the Swiss Federal Tribunal to uphold the revision application filed by Chinese swimmer Sun Yang and to set aside the 20 February 2020 award of a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) Panel.
“The case is in relation to WADA’s successful appeal against the original Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) disciplinary panel decision following an incident that led to a doping control involving Sun Yang not being completed as planned.
“The Swiss Federal Tribunal’s decision upholds a challenge against the Chair of the CAS Panel and makes no comment on the substance of this case.
“In the CAS award, WADA clearly prevailed on the substance of the case as it was able to show that there were a number of aspects of the original FINA decision that were incorrect under the World Anti-Doping Code and the related International Standard for Testing and Investigations.
“WADA will take steps to present its case robustly again when the matter returns to the CAS Panel, which will be chaired by a different president.
“At this stage, WADA has not received the Tribunal’s full reasoned decision and therefore cannot comment further.”
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