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A detailed review of the CAS Panel’s decision in WADA v Sun Yang & FINA

Swimmer Underwater
Thursday, 05 March 2020 By Jack Anderson

In a decision first announced[1] on 28 February 2020 the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) confirmed that Sun Yang would be banned from competitive swimming for eight years. His swimming future now rests largely on one final avenue of appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal. 

On 4 March, CAS released the Panel’s full, reasoned decision, a copy of which is available here[2]. This article reviews the decision and analyses its potential implications.  Specifically, it looks at:

  • The reasoned decision
    • The conduct of the sample collection personnel
    • Sun Yang’s intention to interfere and reliance on entourage
  • Sanction
  • Comment
    • Appeal to Swiss Federal Tribunal
    • Lessons for FINA

For background reading on the facts and the legal arguments made at the hearing, please see this article by the author: A detailed analysis of the legal arguments in WADA v Sun Yang & FINA - a very public hearing[3].

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Written by

Jack Anderson

Jack Anderson

Jack Anderson is a Professor of Law at the University of Melbourne where he teaches criminal law, the law of torts and sports law.

Jack has published widely in the area of sports law and including monographs such as The Legality of Boxing (Routledge 2007) and Modern Sports Law (Hart 2010) and edited collections such as Landmark Cases in Sports Law (Asser 2013) and EU Sports Law (Edward Elgar 2018). He was Editor-in-Chief of the International Sports Law Journal based at the International Sports Law Centre at the Asser Institute from 2013 to 2016. He is Honorary Member of the Centre for Sports Law, Sports Policy and Sports Diplomacy, University of Riejeka, Croatia and an external examiner at the University of Malaya.

An accredited workplace mediator and a Chartered Arbitrator, (CArb). Jack is an arbitrator on the international panel for Sport Resolutions UK and World Athletics’ Disciplinary Tribunal. Jack is a member of International Hockey Federation’s Integrity Unit and a founding member of the Asia Racing Federation’s Anti-Illegal Betting Taskforce. In Australia, Jack sits on the disciplinary tribunal of the Football Federation of Victoria and for Basketball Australia. In 2019, Jack was appointed by the Victoria government to the Board of Harness Racing Victoria. He is Vice-President of Gaelic Games Victoria.

From 2016-2019, he was a member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport and appeared on the list of arbitrators of the CAS Ad hoc Division for the UEFA EURO 2016 (European football championships). He was the sole CAS arbitrator at the Commonwealth Games in 2018. In 2019, he was appointed to the International Tennis Federation’s Ethics Commission and was asked by the Australian government to chair the advisory committee to prepare for the establishment of a national sports tribunal. In 2020, he was appointed as a member of the National Sports Tribunal of Australia.

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