FINA gives short shrift to Sun Yang doping sample claims
FINA, swimming’s world governing body, has given short shrift to a newspaper claim that a blood sample from Sun Yang, the Chinese swimming star, was intentionally destroyed during an out-of-competition anti-doping test in September last year.
A vial containing the sample was alleged to have been smashed at a clubhouse, after officials that had visited to conduct the test were said not to have the correct authorisation.
On 3 January, a FINA panel cleared Sun, saying that it would “never know” what actually happened.
In a statement issued yesterday, FINA said that it is “not authorised to comment the case. Moreover, FINA will not consider further speculation and hearsay on this matter.”
It added: “FINA has zero tolerance for the use of banned performance-enhancing substances and methods. FINA remains completely committed to protecting our clean athletes, with a very robust anti-doping programme, and this has proven highly effective in ensuring clean competition at the World Championships and Olympic Games.
“FINA continued to implement this intensive approach in Hangzhou, China, during the 14th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) 2018 and will do so again in the future, to preserve the integrity of our sport.”
The World Anti-Doping Agency is reported to be considering an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport over the incident.
In 2016, China faced accusations of systematic doping in swimming after three members of the national squad were banned for testing positive for the same substance, including one who had already been disqualified at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro that year.
Sources in Beijing told the UK’s Times newspaper that the three, which included a bronze medallist from the 2012 Olympics in London, were banned after testing positive for hydrochlorothiazide, a masking agent.
The sources said: “That all these swimmers test positive for the same masking agent, which cleans out their system ahead of testing, indicates a systematic network of doping athletes. There is a deep problem and there are rogues working in the sport.”