(Reuters) – Chinese swimmer Sun Yang’s appeal against an eight-year ban for missing an out-of-competition doping test will take place in May with a new panel of judges, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said on Thursday.
Triple Olympic champion Sun was banned by CAS last February after it accepted an appeal from the World Anti-Doping Agency against a decision by swimming governing body FINA to clear him of wrongdoing for his conduct during a 2018 test.
The swimmer appealed and the Swiss Federal Supreme Court in December upheld his challenge against the CAS panel “on the grounds of bias of one of the arbitrators of the CAS”.
As a result, the case was sent back to CAS, which said it would hear it again with a different panel.
“A new hearing will take place during the week of May 24-28 2021,” CAS said in a statement https://www.tas-cas.org/fileadmin/user_upload/CAS_Media_Release_6148_HearingMay21.pdf.
“In light of the travel restrictions and sanitary measures in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the hearing will be held by video conference.
“At the conclusion of the hearing, the panel will commence its deliberations and prepare the arbitral award. Accordingly, the decision will not be announced when the hearing concludes, but at a later date.”
The sanctions imposed on Sun were automatically lifted after the court’s December decision, CAS said in January.
A different decision could potentially clear the way for Sun to compete at this year’s delayed Tokyo Olympics.
Sun, the reigning world and Olympic champion in 200 metres freestyle, was banned after he and members of his entourage were found to have smashed vials containing blood samples taken at an out-of-competition test in September, 2018.
Sun, 29, has questioned the credentials and identity of the testers and has proclaimed his innocence.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)