Chinese swimmer Sun Yang will not be able to defend his gold medal in the 200-meter freestyle event at the Tokyo Olympics next month. On Tuesday, judges banned Sun for four years and three months after breaking anti-doping rules, according to the Associated Press.
Sun, 29, did have his original eight-year ban for the same offense overturned in December on an appeal to Switzerland's supreme court. Federal judges ruled that the original verdict was unsafe, due to the fact that chairman of the CAS showed anti-Chinese bias on social media.
The swimmer had this retrial at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in the hopes of clearing his name, but instead the eight-year ban was nearly cut in half. The ban is retroactive to February 2020, which means that the swimmer could return in time to compete in the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
The retrial was conducted by three new judges between May and June, and the verdict, as planned, comes prior to the opening of the Tokyo Olympics on July 23.
According to the AP, judges ruled that Sun "acted recklessly" when, in 2018, he refused to surrender a sample of his blood to anti-doping officials during an unannounced visit to his home in China. A member of Sun's entourage even ordered a security guard to smash a vial of blood with a hammer.
This is not the first offense for Sun. In 2014, he served a three-month ban imposed by Chinese officials after he tested positive for a banned substance. Two years prior at the 2012 London Olympics, he became the first Chinese man to win a gold medal in swimming. He followed that up in the 2016 Olympics by becoming the first swimmer to ever win Olympic gold medals in the 200, 400, and 1500 meter freestyle events.