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

Published 05 March 2020 By: Jack Anderson

Swimmer Underwater

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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Jack Anderson

Jack Anderson

Jack Anderson is Professor and Director of Sports Law Studies at the University of Melbourne. The sports law program at Melbourne was one of the first to be established globally in the mid-1980 and continues to expand at the Melbourne Law School, which itself is ranked in the top 10 law schools globally.

Jack has published widely in the area 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 with R Parrish and B Garcia). He was Editor-in-Chief of the International Sports Law Journal from 2013 to 2016.

Jack is a former member of CAS (2016-2019).  He is currently a member and arbitrator for World Athletics’ Disciplinary Tribunal, the National Sports Tribunal of Australia and the Football Federation of Victoria.  He is a member of International Hockey Federation’s Integrity Unit and Basketball Australia’s National Integrity Advisory Committee.  in 2019, he was appointed to the International Tennis Federation’s Ethics Commission and is currently a Board Member of Harness Racing Victoria.

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