Chinese Federation Opens Door For Sun Yang to Race at Tokyo Olympics

Chinese Federation Opens Door For Sun Yang to Race at Tokyo Olympics

As the Chinese Olympic Trials started on Friday, the controversial Sun Yang was missing from action, his status for this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo still in limbo. Yet, the Chinese Swimming Federation has instituted a measure that will enable Sun to race at the Olympics if he is deemed eligible following his upcoming retrial with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on a doping violation.

The Chinese Federation announced that any athletes who captured titles at the 2019 World Championships would receive automatic qualification for the Tokyo Games. That ruling affects only Sun, who claimed world titles in the 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle, and Xu Jiayu, who was the world champion in the 100 backstroke.

In February 2020, Sun was handed an eight-year ban by the CAS due to what unfolded during an out-of-competition doping test in September 2018. During the visit by doping testers, Sun and his entourage refused requests of the officials and, at one point, a member of Sun’s team destroyed a vial containing Sun’s blood.

While the CAS originally ruled against Sun and, with an eight-year ban ultimately ended the career of the Olympic champion, Sun argued that one of the CAS judges was biased and the case will be heard again by the CAS in late May. If the CAS again rules against Sun, he will be absent from this summer’s Olympic Games. If the ruling goes in favor of Sun, a path toward competing has been established by the Chinese Federation for Sun to defend his Olympic crown in the 200 freestyle.