Duncan Scott’s arch-rival Sun Yang has his eight-year doping ban overturned by Swiss court

Olympic champion swimmer Sun Yang has had his doping ban overturned by Switzerland’s highest court, according to the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Sun Yang of China clashes with Duncan Scott during the medal ceremony for the men's 200m freestyle final at the 2019 FINA World Championships in South Korea. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images
Sun Yang of China clashes with Duncan Scott during the medal ceremony for the men's 200m freestyle final at the 2019 FINA World Championships in South Korea. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

WADA said the Swiss Federal Tribunal has upheld an application filed by Yang to set aside the ruling of a panel which unanimously found him in breach of doping regulations.

The tribunal is the designated appeal body for decisions made in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) which ruled on Sun’s case earlier this year.

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Sun, who had already served a three-month ban for an earlier offence, clashed angrily with Scottish swimmer Duncan Scott during his gold medal ceremony at the World Aquatics Championships in July 2019 after Scott refused to shake his hand.

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Sun petulantly snapped at Scott: “You’re a loser, I’m a winner” while gesturing at him. The Scottish swimmer, who finished third, also refused to take part in a group photo on the podium and kept his distance from Sun as they left the stage.

Scott later said: "Me not shaking his hand was nothing against him personally, it’s about a stance towards clean sport. The ban that he's got is deserved and I think this is a step in the right direction towards clean sport.”

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But the overturning of Sun’s eight-year ban will send shockwaves through the sport.

A statement from WADA said: “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.

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Duncan Scott, right, stands apart from the other medallists during a photo-shoot on the podium at the 2019 swimming World Championships in South Korea. Scott, who won bronze, was protesting against gold medallist Sun Yang in a stance for clean sport.

“The case is in relation to WADA’s successful appeal against the original Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA) disciplinary panel decision following an incident that led to a doping control involving Sun Yang not being completed as planned.”

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It added the matter will now return to a CAS panel, chaired by a different president.

It is being reported that the new ruling may have hinged on an objection made by Sun’s legal team about the CAS panel chairman Franco Frattini. They are alleging Frattini had posted anti-Chinese sentiments on Twitter.

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Sun was handed the lengthy suspension in February after the World Anti-Doping Agency challenged a controversial decision by swimming’s governing body FINA to clear him of a doping offence.

The Olympic 200-metre freestyle champion was accused of smashing the vials containing his blood after a row with a team of FINA drug-testers at his home in September 2018.

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The 29-year-old, his mother and entourage allegedly interfered with the FINA team’s efforts to get samples because they did not believe the testers were properly accredited or qualified but a CAS panel unanimously found him in breach of doping regulations.

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