Chinese Swimming Star Sun Yang to Miss Tokyo Olympics 2021 Despite Reduced Ban

Published 07/06/2021, 4:23 PM EDT

While the US usually dominates the swimming competitions in the Olympics, one man has risen to the top. Sun Yang. He became the first Chinese swimmer to win Olympic gold at London Olympics 2012.


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Likewise, he became the only swimmer to win gold medals in every freestyle event ranging from 200 to 1500-meters in the sport’s history. However, Yang won’t compete in Tokyo Olympics 2021 as he faces a ban, for missing out on a doping test.

Fans expected the Chinese superstar to dominate the events in Tokyo. But the doping ban shattered his dreams of appearing in the Olympics.


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Sun Yang banned for Tokyo Olympics 2021

Despite being one of the best swimmers of his generation, this decision comes as a blow to his chances of winning medals for China in the Olympics. The CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) banned the 29-year-old swimmer after he refused to give a sample for doping. A member of his entourage had smashed a vial containing Sun’s blood when the doping authorities visited his home.

Even though his ban was initially set for 8 years, Switzerland’s federal supreme court reduced it to 4 years. Despite the reduction of his sentence, the swimmer will miss out on Tokyo, while he hopes to make a return to Paris Olympics 2024.

This marks an enormous loss for China’s swimming aspirations in Tokyo. Likewise, Sun was also banned in 2014 for a different doping ban while continuing to pledge his innocence on the matter.

The swimmer remarked about the doping testers being unqualified or unsanctioned to take the test.


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Tokyo will miss a generational talent

Having started his quest in the 2010 Asian Games, he won the 1500-meter freestyle by setting a new Asian record. The 2011 World Championships became a landmark year as he set the new world record for the 1500-meter freestyle event.

But in London 2012 Olympics, Sun showcased his talents to the world in what was an incredible swimming display. Sun won the gold medal in 400 and 1500 freestyle events cementing his legacy as one of the best swimmers in the world.

While winning two gold medals in London, Sun won the 200-meter freestyle event in Rio 2016; becoming the first swimmer to win gold in 200, 400, and 1500-meter freestyle events in the Olympics.

With three Olympic golds and 11 World Championships, he is one of the most decorated superstars of this era.

Significantly, his 1500-meter world record is the only record to not come from the super-suit era of the late 2000s. Quite an astonishing achievement.


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While the Tokyo Olympics are set to begin, fans will miss Sun’s exploits in a swimming pool. However, Paris 2024 will now remain the target, for this once-in-a-generation swimmer to remind everyone that he is the best.

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Jacob Gijy

225 articles

Jacob Gijy is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Masters in Counselling Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the centre the respect he deserves.