Beijing: Chinese swimmer star Sun Yang, who is struggling to save his career after controversy over doping, was given new hope in competing in the Olympics after China said the world champion was eligible to take part in Tokyo.
The Chinese Swimming Federation’s announcement came as the three-time Olympic champion prepares for a new court hearing over his refusal to give a sample of steroids when the lab visited his home in September 2018.
Sun, the 1500m world record holder, won the 200m and 400m races at the 2019 World Championships in South Korea, as he faced protests on the podium from fellow swimmers over his doping record.
The China Swimming Federation set its eligibility requirements for the Olympic Games on Thursday, saying that all gold medal winners of the 2019 World Championships can participate.
The 29-year-old will not participate in the Chinese championships this week and the Olympic qualifiers in Qingdao, according to Chinese media.
The Sports Arbitration Court suspended Sun for a maximum of eight years in February last year, refusing to give samples during a surprise doping test where a vial of his blood was smashed with a hammer.
But the Supreme Court in Switzerland overturned the ban in December, in a surprising decision saying the Court of Arbitration for Sport was guilty of bias.
Sun will reappear at the Sports Court from May 24-28, just two months before the Tokyo Olympics.
Sun vehemently protested his innocence in the test case, claiming that the inspectors had not produced documents proving their identities.
This wasn’t the first stimulant controversy: he was suspended for three months in 2014 after testing positive for the stimulant trimetazidine, in a case that was only made public after he had served most of his sentence. – France Press agency