International swimming authorities worked to protect three-time Olympic champion Sun Yang from being banned from the sport in a doping case, according to a Swiss supreme court document.
A verdict in the case against the Chinese swimmer is expected within days from the Court of Arbitration for Sport. But a federal court document shows that swimming governing body FINA supported arguments by Sun’s lawyers to have an appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency thrown out early last year in a pre-trial dispute over an alleged conflict of interest for the agency’s lead prosecutor, American lawyer Richard Young.
The swimmer’s lawyers appealed to the Swiss Federal Tribunal, which dismissed their procedural objections weeks before a rare public hearing held by CAS last November.
“In the course of the proceedings, the swimmer and FINA raised a plea of inadmissibility because of the allegedly late filing of the (WADA) appeal brief,” said the Swiss federal ruling, dated Oct. 28.
Had Young, who previously prosecuted doping cases involving Lance Armstrong and Marion Jones and is based in Colorado, been considered ineligible for the case because of his past work for FINA, the WADA appeal could have technically missed its deadline and allowed CAS to decline jurisdiction.
Instead, Young stayed on the WADA team for the public hearing.