China’s top sport star Sun Yang hit the headline again. Only this time, he was involved in doping. The Olympic and world swimming champion was banned for three months after being tested positive for the stimulant trimetazidine in May. Sun said he used the prescription drug Vasorel to treat chronic heart palpitations but failed to file the therapeutic use exemption.
The 23-year-old had his explanation accepted but the timing of revealing his case went under fire. Sun’s ban finished in August and he went on to win three gold medals in the Incheon Asian Games before the doping news was released in November.
Chinese sports authorities admitted that they should give more consideration to famous athletes’ doping cases in the future. ”In anti-doping, we want to treat everyone equally. That’s why we don’t announce some single case just because he or she is famous,” said Jiang Zhixue, head of governmental anti-doping department.
“Now I am wondering if it is necessary to make important cases known earlier than others,” he said. In athletics, China’s top hammer thrower Zhang Wenxiu was stripped of Asian Games gold after anabolic agent Zeranol was found in her sample.