Swimming – Sun Yang wants to resume “as soon as possible” after the end of his suspension

Swimming – Sun Yang wants to resume “as soon as possible” after the end of his suspension
Swimming – Sun Yang wants to resume “as soon as possible” after the end of his suspension

Chinese swimmer Sun Yang, three-time Olympic champion, said he wants to return to competition “as quickly as possible” after his more than four-year suspension for anti-doping rule violations ended on Tuesday.

The athlete had been serving a suspension of four years and three months since February 2020 for the destruction with a hammer of a sample of his blood taken during an unannounced doping control at his home in September 2018. He had argued that the controllers had not not have the necessary permissions. Initially suspended for eight years, his sanction was reduced to four years on appeal by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

I hope to be able to choose a competition as quickly as possible and find myself on the starting block“, indicated the 32-year-old athlete to the Chinese media The Paper in an interview published this Tuesday. Sun Yang’s return comes as Chinese swimmers have been in the crosshairs since media reports revealed that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) allowed 23 Chinese swimmers to compete in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics despite testing positive.

A return too late for the Olympics

Sun Yang’s return is too late for him to participate in the Paris Olympics this summer, but he has suggested he is setting other goals. “The Olympic Games are just a competition for me, they will end, and then there will be others” competitions, Sun Yang said.

Since I started training again, I often perform competition simulationsI’m constantly trying to get that feeling back“, he underlined. Sun Yang was the first Chinese swimmer to win Olympic gold, in the 400m and 1,500m, at the London Games in 2012. His record also includes 11 world titles between 2011 and 2019 .

But he has become a controversial figure. Some rivals called him a cheater during the 2016 Rio Olympics and two competitors refused to stand alongside him on podiums at the 2019 Worlds. He says he had a period “dark” after the announcement of his suspension, but was able to take the opportunity to get married and study at university.

These four years have also made my life more enriching“thanks to the support of his wife, Chinese gymnast Zhang Doudou, or his studies, he stressed. “AWith hindsight, I tell myself that it wasn’t really much, it wasn’t that hard“, he put it into perspective.

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