WADA v. Sun Yang & FINA: Reflections of a Chinese lawyer & lessons for sports in China
This article examines the Sun Yang case from the personal perspective of the Author, a Chinese lawyer based in Beijing who made her way to Montreux, Switzerland and attended the 9-hour Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) hearing in person. It offers the Author’s analysis of how the case unfolded, the conduct of the hearing, and most importantly, the lessons that can be learned for athletes, sports regulators, lawyers, and anyone caring about sports in China. Specifically, it examines:
- The reasons why Sun Yang lost his case at CAS
- The factors that contributed to the eight-year ban
- Conduct at the proceeding
- Implausible case theories and lack of sincerity
- The difficulties of a public forum
- Could Sun Yang have argued his case differently?
- Main lessons
- Education for Chinese athletes and support staff
- The win at all costs mentality and learning to deal with disputes
- Constructive proposals for Chinese sports
- Concluding remarks
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- Tags: Anti Doping | Athlete Welfare | China | Court of Arbitration for Sport | Dispute Resolution | FINA | Olympics | Swimming | WADA | WADA Code
- WADA v Sun Yang & FINA - The benefits (or otherwise) of a public hearing
- A detailed analysis of the legal arguments in WADA v Sun Yang & FINA - a very public hearing
- Are you being heard? How the Sun Yang public hearing exposes a gap in athletes’ rights
- A detailed review of the CAS Panel’s decision in WADA v Sun Yang & FINA
About the Author
Ms. Guo Cai oversees the International Law and Sports Business practice, Jin Mao Law Firm, the first Chinese law firm to establish a practice dedicated to the sports industry. Ms. Cai graduated from Harvard Law School and China University of Political Science and Law. She also held an LLM in Human Rights (distinction) from the University of Hong Kong. Admitted to practice in China and the US (New York), Ms. Cai specializes in international dispute resolution and sports law, with the aspiration to grow with the Chinese sports industry and connect international best practice with sports in China.
Ms. Cai’s involvement in sport dated back to the Beijing Olympics in 2008, for which she served as a professional volunteer. The case of IOC v. Xinyi Chen in the 2016 Rio Olympics motivated her to specialize in the sports sectors so as to make quality legal services available to Chinese athletes where needed. Ms Cai has successfully represented sportspersons, national and international sports associations in disputes at both domestic and international level, with particular strengths in new, unsettled areas. In 2020, Ms. Guo Cai contributes to the debut of Annual Review on Sports Dispute Resolution in China (2020) published by the Beijing Arbitration Commission, the first time that sports has been broken out from entertainment for separate discussion. She is the co-author of this inaugural volume.