Much of Chinese swimmer Sun Yang’s testimony incomprehensible

He said he became particularly concerned when he saw one of the team members filming him while he was giving blood.

He told Friday night’s hearing in the Swiss town of Le Montreux that his personal physician, Dr Ba Zhen and Dr Han Zhaoqi, the deputy director of the Zhejiang anti-doping centre, advised him not to allow the testing team to leave with his blood.

He said that after much discussion, the doping control officer in charge of the testing mission relented and agreed that if Sun Yang could find a way to access the blood sample, he could keep it.

“They tell us it is up to you,’’ Sun Yang said. “If I can open the blood, I can just keep it.”

He told the hearing that the drug testers, during their four-hour stand-off at his villa, at no point warned him that he risked serious doping offences if he prevented them from carrying out their work.

“The DCO (doping control officer) didn’t mention about any possibility of a consequence.”

Sun Yang was cleared by swimming’s governing body FINA in January this year of all anti-doping offences. That decision is being challenged before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Sun Yang and family celebrate after another win.Credit:Visual China Group

Counsel for WADA, Brent Rychener, challenged Sun Yang on discrepancies between the initial statement he provided to the FINA anti-doping panel and a more recent statement prepared for the CAS hearing about who took the decision to try to retrieve the blood sample.

In his initial statement, Sun Yang said the decision was his. In his more recent statement, he says he was acting on the advice of Dr Ba.

Mr Rychener was incredulous that Sun Yang, an international swimmer for more than 10 years, was not aware of the potential ramifications of refusing or tampering with a drug test.

“Over the last six years you have provided more than 200 samples for purposes of anti-doping. Are you saying today that after being tested more than 200 times you are not aware of the legal consequences for refusing to provide a sample?”

The significance of the question was lost on Sun Yang after it was wrongly translated. Counsel for Sun Yang, Ian Meakin, interjected to explain that, instead of being asked in Mandarin about 200 tests, his client was asked about 200 millilitres of blood.

The hearing is expected to run for 11 hours, with Sun Yang relying on eight witness statements and testimony from Dr Ba and his mother Ming Yang, who were both at the villa on the night of the failed testing mission.

The CAS panel will reserve its decision.

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