(Yicai Global) Jan. 28 -- Chinese Olympian Sun Yang's lawyer has written to Times Newspapers, which runs British newspaper The Sunday Times, threatening legal action over a recent report detailing Sun's response to an impromptu drug test.
Details of the incident should have been confidential per a ruling the International Swimming Federation, or FINA, made on Nov. 19, state-owned news agency Xinhua reported, citing a public statement Sun's attorney Zhang Qihuai issued to accompany the letter.
The Sunday Times reported yesterday that Sun, who was banned by the Chinese Swimming Association in 2014 for blood doping, resisted off-season tests in September and "faces a lifetime ban after a clash with doping testers ended in him and his security guard using a hammer to smash a sealed vial containing the swimmer's blood."
Three staff from International Doping Tests and Management visited Sun's home on Sept. 24, 2018 and tried to administer off-season blood doping tests, the statement said. Zhang claims the testers breached several rules by failing to produce authorization letters, Doping Control Officers certificates or nursing licenses, and by making malicious false statements in a test report.
The IDTM submitted this allegedly false report to FINA, the statement claims. FINA deliberated over the claim during a 13-hour hearing in Switzerland on Nov. 19, where Sun and the IDTM workers gave evidence. The association ruled in Sun's favor on Jan. 3 this year, saying he did not breach any regulations, but the IDTM is appealing via the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The case was meant to be confidential, according to Zhang.
Sun is preparing for international competition and his attorney believes the report was intended to damage the athlete's reputation and throw him off his game. The letter to The Sunday Times asked the paper to delete the online report in question, remove it from other distributing media outlets and issue a public apology.
Sun reserves the right to file a lawsuit against the newspaper and other outlets or individuals that spread the message, the statement added.
Sun is the only male swimmer to win Olympic and World Championship gold in all freestyle swimming distances between 200 meters and 1,500 meters. His accolades have also earned him advertising deals with Huawei's smartphone brand Honor, sports clothes maker 361 Degrees, carmaker Geely and others.
Editor: James Boynton