Australian sport authorities have barred Chinese Olympic swimmer, Sun Yang, from training in Australia after it was revealed that the gold medal winning athlete had committed a doping violation this past May.
Swimming Australia head, Michael Scott, announced Sun would no longer be permitted to train at any Australian swim facilities.
In May 2014, Sun tested positive for the banned stimulant, trimetazidine, and was banned from competition for three months by the Chinese Swimming Association. News of Sun’s ban was covered up by the Association and China’s anti-doping agency until just over a week ago.
Earlier this year, and prior to the ban going public, Sun competed in the Asian Games where he won three gold medals.
According to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s regulations, the minimum ban for first time offenders is two years, a duration soon to increase to four years. Chinese officials defended the short duration of Sun’s ban, saying they believe Sun did not intend to break the rules. Sun claims he took the banned substance due to a heart condition.
Scott said Swimming Australia will continue to tighten protocols around foreign swimmers. All swimmers are required to register with Australia’s national anti-doping agency, and pay a fee to ensure they are regularly tested during their stay.
Scott said, “(Integrity) is foremost going forward. It was a very straight forward call, which Denis [Denis Cotterell, Sun Yang’s Australian swim coach] supports and will enforce.”
This isn’t the first time Sun’s actions have met with controversy. In November 2013, Sun had his endorsement and business privileges suspended after a car accident that showed Sun had been driving without a licence. Earlier that year, Sun was formally disciplined for missing training sessions and disputing with long-time coach, Zhu Zhigen.