11th December 2019
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) heard the appeal filed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) against the Chinese swimmer Sun Yang and the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) on Friday, 15 November 2019 during a public hearing held in Montreux, Switzerland which was also live streamed via the CAS website, giving all interested persons across the globe the opportunity to follow the proceedings live.
Although the organization and the schedule of the public hearing was to the satisfaction of the arbitrators and parties’ counsels, some concerns were raised with respect to the quality of the interpretation of Mr. Yang’s testimony. It must be emphasized that the CAS regulations provide that if a hearing is to be held, the CAS Panel may allow a party to use a language other than that chosen for the arbitration, on the condition that such party provides, at its own cost, interpretation into and from the official language of the arbitration. It is for this reason that, since the language of the proceedings was English, the parties agreed on a private interpretation service to assist Mr. Yang and his witnesses. In order to maintain its independence and neutrality, the CAS cannot engage in the hiring of external interpreters.
The parties are currently preparing an agreed-upon written transcript of the proceedings, including a full translation of Mr.Yang’s testimony, which the Panel will work from when deliberating and preparing the Arbitral Award. In view of these circumstances, the Arbitral Award is not expected to be issued before mid-January 2020.