Why The Sun Has Set On Yang’s Days As A Chinese Pantheon Placer To Purr Over

Sun Yang by Patrick. B. Kraemer

Sun Yang is “about 90 or 95 percent of his peak form”, says his coach Zhang Yadong as the Chinese Olympic champion takes a tilt at a new line in swim history as the first winner of all freestyle titles 200 to 1500m; he tows a tainted image with him to the blocks in Kazan

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Sun Yang is “about 90 or 95 percent of his peak form”, says his coach Zhang Yadong as the Chinese Olympic champion takes a tilt at a new line in swim history as the first winner of all freestyle titles 200 to 1500m; he tows a tainted image with him to the blocks in Kazan

Comments

Eugene

>”In May last year, Sun tested posited for Trimetazidine, a heart stimulate placed on the banned-substances list of the WADA Code in late September (in force from January 1, 2014)”

>”Sadly, Sun no longer comes with the status of a clean athlete”

So, this means that any athlete who had used the same drug before 2014 but then gave up due to WADA update, is considered to be clean, while SY is not? 🙂 Wow…

Craig Lord

No-one said that nor was it written; your words and a cynical twist, Eugene. There are Bromantan cases that got off with it and walked away with Olympic medals – Atlanta 1996… but the substance is there on the list today and so, yes, those who escaped the drop cannot be said to have broken rules, while those who take that now (including a Russian swimmer of late all those years after Atlanta) are banned and cannot be said to be clean athletes. That is the stuff of the world Eugene .. it was ok to set bears fighting in the streets once… now we don’t do it… it is a fairly simple thought process.

for33

Rather than pondering about Mr. Yang’s winning streak, I prefer focusing on the progress of other, mostly newer, swimmers. I’d be delighted if in the 200m freestyle James Guy, Cameron McEvoy, or one of the Japanese swimmers makes it to the top. I’m really ready for a change! Or if Mack Horton, Gregorio Paltrineri, and yes, Ryan Cochrane, make their mark in the longer distances. Too bad Mr. Hagino will not be present for the 200m and 400m. I also daydream of when Australia and/or Japan finall realize their potential in the 4x200m freestyle male relay.

Craig Lord

Roy, if Vasorel was needed to save his life, then a decision to continue to work at the rate he must work at to be the best distance free swimmer in the world must surely be questioned. That sum does not add up.
Sun was not technically clean when doctors prescribed the drug for him in 2014. This is not the kind of medication you simply keep taking for six years without any regular updates and checks on the condition.
Park doesn’t feel he has deliberately drone something wrong either – that’s the case with most doping cases. You must still say sorry and mean it … and what you don’t do is turn up to a major meet and pretend it will all go away and that nothing happened. Stunning lack of being of and in the world and respecting the rules and those around you.

Craig Lord

I think many feel the same for33 (… but impossible not to note this and these events on the eve of whatever is about to unfold, with much mention of the possible 200-1500 line out there in previews galore around the world).

Craig Lord

I get all that, Roy – and I mention those things in copy. But by June 2014, all those parties, swimmer, coach and doctor included, knew they had slipped up… and they tried to set their own rules by arguing precisely what you are arguing instead of following the reporting deadlines, telling WADA/FINA and others and then, if required, withdrawing their man from the Asian Games and saying ‘a mistake was made here’. That would have been to respect the rules of engagement and your fellow competitors. Yes, there would have been a lot of unhappiness (as there is now) but there might well have been more understanding, too, and less loss of faith in a career assisted by a substance not banned then but banned now and taken when it was banned, regardless of where the fault rested. The book of doping cases is littered with people who said they made a mistake, some of them more believable than others, depending where you stand, but most served a proper ban, not three months backdated to nothing at all.

aswimfan

Roy,

Having trained in Australia for a few months every year since 2011, it would be unbelievable if Sun Yang cannot speak or read English.

Also we are talking about super elite swimmer with multiple Olympics and Worlds golds here and who’s been swimming for years, and who must be extremely aware of his country doping reputation. I cannot imagine he is as reckless as you are trying to argue for when it comes to ingesting medication.

bkkang Kang

After seeing his documentary video, he has grown up and more determined to prove his worthiness, an unparalleled champion despite genetic flaw. Maybe it is ‘blessing in disguise’ that we will seeing more records in his pet events.

beachmouse

Thing is, there are many perfectly legitimate reasons to use some of the drugs on the WADA banned list. And there is a perfectly nice process in place for Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs). Probably something like 20-30% of the athletes at the World Championships have TUEs on file for things like asthma medications.

If the Chinese federation had been up front and public about- ‘we screwed up the TUE paperwork for a necessary medication; here is medical documentation of why Sun was taking it and how we are going to comply with the new rules going forward.’ it would have been more or less okay to resolve the positive with a warning and no suspension. It’s happened with any number of athletes in the past for good or bad (see Justin Gatlin’s original doping positive, which resulted in only warning/probation from the IAAF) Athletes aren’t robots and we want our elites to not drop dead from a heart condition in the training pool and all.

But the secret suspension that didn’t really mean anything comes across as shady, especially in Western culture when trying to cover up a mistake is often seen as worse than the original infraction.

Does Sun still have a heart condition that is being managed by this or another medication or surgical procedure? Should the lifeguards at the pool in Kazan have defibrilators at the ready because he’s off his old heart drug entirely with no substitution? Or was there never a documented heart condition at all?

Craig Lord

Yes, transparency would have gone a long way, Beachmouse. Good questions on the conditions and treatment…. we may get answers along the way…

Craig Lord

Roy, Sun’s best at 16 was 15:14… Kieren Perkins – 14:58.05; Gregorio Paltrinieri 15:04; Mack Horton 15:10 … there are a few around the 15:15 mark… v fast, of course, but nothing outstanding like Michael Phelps’ 200 ‘fly, Perkins more in line with that.

is a heart condition genetic flaw: can be but not necessarily.

beachmouse

Heart conditions in the young can be genetic; they can also be the result of an illness (example- scarlet fever) where the virus or bacteria attacks the heart muscle and leaves it damaged.

aswimfan

Beachmouse,

There’s a reason Sun Yang’s doctors did not file a TUE: trimetazidine is not exempted under TUE. Meaning, it is banned under any circumstances.
My take on this is that, a person whose illness necessarily to take trimetazidine should not undergo heavy training as an elite athlete because it can be fatal.
And the healthy ones who take it are doing it to cheat so they can withstand more training.

Yozhik

Very interesting post, beachmouse. Is there any news that Sun Yang did any TSU paperwork since January 2014? If he didn’t then either he was prescribed some replacement that is not banned, or his heart condition was not at the level required administration of banned medicine. In either case such strange development of events allows me to be skeptical. I am inclining to think that there were no misunderstanding or mistreatment or poor English problem or other such accidental things that can be used as excuse. I am up to believe that every party involved with Sun Young swimming business in China including himself were well aware of what has happened in January 2014 and found the “optimal” way to keep SY ready for the Asian Games and at the same time protect him from being seriously punished by FINA.
By saying all these negative things I also has questions to all puritans. How much do you thinks this heart pills contributed to his superiority? If the answer would be that such clinical drugs do help and that’s why they are banned. But not to the degree that allows to become a legend and cannot be used as explanation of Sun Young’s tremendous success then I personally will think that it is not right to allow his failure in sportsmanship in 2014 (that is what Craig mostly incriminates him) to wash away all his incredible achievements? If he is clean after March 2014 and behave since then please ….

bkkang Kang

Well info from Sun yang wikipedia stated that his results (1500M) at the age of 16 he was doing 14′ 48” and Beijing 2008 a finalist at 15′ 05″. Those achievement were due to his mentoring from M r. D Cotterell of Miami Club and of he has been swimming whole life since at the age 5 ( 10 days break per year as lamented by him in his docu video). They have a junior swimmer Li ZhuHao last was doing 51″83 s (2015) Fly 100M (age 16 ) but does not necessarily equate MP’s greatness(Fly) in future.

aswimfan

For sure, Sun Yang is one of the most talented distance swimmers ever. But also for sure, he took trimetazidine that helped him training great.

As Yozhik has pointed out, we don’t know for sure how much the drug has helped in his training. Even if he doesn’t take it now, those great training base throughout the years must still have some positive effects.

An important question:
What replacement medicine that he is taking now to treat his heart condition?
Or is his heart condition no longer as serious as before?

Craig Lord

In general, Yozhik, there is good reason to wash away all achievements when the nature of truth revealed after serious efforts to cover it up indicates a long-term enhancement of an athlete with a heart drug designed for people with what can be a every serious, nay fatal, condition. You can go back through the book of doping cases and say the same ‘well, if they’re clean since X, please…” That doesn’t wash.

Craig Lord

You are right on the 14:48 bkkang.. Sun December born … so makes him 16 at time of Beijing Games… Kieren Perkins remains the youngest ever sub-15 minutes swimmer

Craig Lord

Questions from all on this are pertinent and we ought to get answers. Hopefully, we will. What we do know from medical research is that alternatives for the substance in question are available and have been encouraged because of the bad side-effects of Tri (Parkinsons etc) – EU directive, 2012:
“In April 2011, the French medicines regulatory agency concluded that, based on a review of the evidence in France, the risks of medicines containing trimetazidine were greater than the benefits for all the authorised indications. A main concern was that the effectiveness of trimetazidine had not been convincingly demonstrated in any of the authorised indications, since the studies supporting the authorised uses had several methodological weaknesses and only showed a small benefit.
In addition, there were concerns regarding the safety of trimetazidine-containing medicines following reports of Parkinson syndrome (a group of symptoms that include shaking, slow movement and muscle stiffness) and other motor disorders such as tremor (shaking), muscle rigidity and walking disorders, and restless legs syndrome (a disorder where the patient has uncontrollable urges to move the limbs to stop uncomfortable, painful or odd sensations in the body, usually at night). These symptoms were seen in some patients with no previous history of Parkinson syndrome, and in many cases their symptoms resolved when they stopped taking trimetazidine.”
http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/Referrals_document/Trimetazidine_31/WC500129195.pdf

bkkang Kang

After seeing his video ‘Sun Yang oversea channel’, he stated that dreaded training in the early morning in Australia because of low temperature about 10 C. Don’t know you will be susceptible to catch cold or flu with these conditions : open air pool and cold weather under prolong training and stressful constraints. What medications will be safe for viral infection and especially it has affected myocardium for long distance swimmers. There is a difference between clinical stimulants found cough syrup, aspirins or TMZ comparatively with steroids ( testosterone, growth hormone, nandrolone…. etc- lone. Anyway, we shall know how well he fare in Kazan and ultimately Rio before we know whether TMZ has had helped in his previous Herculean feat. As his trainer mentioned “His physique,stroke mechanics and determination counts and no doping is needed to stay ahead”.

bkkang Kang

It is great that ‘Thunder’ Bolt is back! [NB: rest of this comment edited bkkang – we don’t condone doping here nor do we allow it to be a platform for those who do – ED]

Craig Lord

I couldn’t care less what Gatlin and Co get up to, roy – well past the point of genuine achievement

aswimfan

Roy,

Clearly you have no idea what you are talking about regarding Yang and yet keep defending him.
TMZ was finally banned because WADA kept finding the drug in distance athletes such as cyclists etc.
Look it up.

Bkkang,
Sun Yang is not the only distance swimmer training in Australia, so stop this bullshit about catching cold in open air swimming pool. If he were that concern about his health, he would not have trained in Australia, and yet he did. Also, he trained in Queensland whose weather is very mild. So stop this bullshit.

Craig Lord

Hogwash, all that catching cold stuff, bkkang … five visits to Queensland, different times of year, always mild to boiling, swimming paradise for the most part; if I had a choice where to be as a swimmer, it might well be there…

pegasus523

The responsibility to be informed and comply with DC rules lies with everyone in the entourage– NADOs, federations, coaches, trainers, physicians and of course, the athlete. Elite athletes are aware of these rules, or should be. Some take full and final responsibility while some delegate that responsibility.

Rules and penalties are gradually expanding to protect athletes from unscrupulous “advisors” but the first line of protection is the athlete protecting him/herself. Someone in the Sun Yang camp knew or should have known– had they acted properly this conversation would be different. As rules change those affected must also change.

Ultimately Sun Yang pays a penalty whether it is suspension, suspicion, character questions, soiled legacy or something else. If the questions surrounding the secrecy come to light the speculation and judgment will end. Until that time, keep the questions in the spotlight.

Craig Lord

Quite so … we intend to, pegasus

aswimfan

Roy,

no one is denying that Sun Yang is very talented.

So what was your point again?
because I lost track in your drivels about Gatlin.

Craig Lord

Roy, like I said, couldn’t care less about Gatlin and the likes – he shouldn’t be there wearing neither USA nor Nike vest in my opinion. Comparison with Sun and other swimmers doesn’t work. On Sun, the story hangs on the events of last year and what it means in terms of having a swimmer at the helm of the sport, a standard bearer indeed, who needs, we are told, constant medication for what can be a fatal heart condition. That and the serious lack of transparency on behalf of many last year, has led to a massive loss of faith, regardless of how much work has gone in and how young the athlete was when showing promise. The women of the GDR worked hard, too… very hard… and were able to outwork their rivals because of the substances they were fed from a young age. Some of those people have suffered terrible consequences in terms of their health and well-being. We cannot know what and for how long Sun has been been under care for a heart condition or how long he has been taking the substances said to be required for the condition he is said to have. One can only hope that his post-career health will be as good as the results he’s managed to date in the pool.

Craig Lord

Roy, there may well have been a lot of incompetence in the Palmer case but not involving the swimmer, her coach, her doctors, her federation and her national anti-doping agency before FINA and WADA were even informed – as far as we know so far.

aswimfan

Roy,

You are saying you are not defending Sun Yang, but in each of your posts, you are getting increasingly defensive about Sun Yang ..

And what’s Kylie Palmer got to do with Sun Yang?
Has Palmer received any doping ban?
And what about vilifying Palmer got to do with Sun Yang case?

Again, I am asking you, what is your point?
Because it is not very clear.

And why are you claiming that Sun Yang case not very clear (while referring to Palmer’s)?

Let me help you:
The clear cut difference between Palmer’s case and Sun Yang case is:
in Palmer’s case, the questions are all directed to FINA and WADA. If you are not sure why, look it up and read about it all.
in Sun Yang’s case, the questions are all directed to Sun Yang, his doctors, and the Chinese authorities. Even FINA and WADA have been asking the questions to the Chinese authorities which remain unanswered.

aswimfan

Roy,

no one ever in this thread mentioned anything about Gatlin, and yet you keep talking on and on about Gatlin. is Gatlin somehow related to Sun Yang? is Gatlin a swimmer who took trimetazidine?

aswimfan

By the way,

Here’s something to think about:
Kornelia Ender was extremely talented, even possibly more talented than sun Yang. Everyone could testify she was extremely talented.
And Ender even achieved greatness at much younger age than Sun Yang, and her trajectory to greatness was very clear and stable.

And yet we all know she was doped to the gill.

(I am mentioning Ender as she is a lot more relevant to this discussion than Gatlin, especially since you argued in your above comments that athletes who have swum/run really fast times from young age do not benefit from doping – when you mentioned bolt, phelps, gatlin, etc)

Craig Lord

Yes, she is more relevant aswimfan and the scenario you paint is correct – what we saw in the 200IM in 1972 was the real deal in terms of the talent and talent ID system she came from … what we saw later was the doping: huge pity for as Rica Reinisch put it … “the saddest thing for me is that I’ll never know how good I could have been” … at 15, a double Olympic champion; at 16 hospitalised for chronically inflamed ovaries as a result of the steroids she’d been plied with. Sterility a real threat, she retired. Swimming is full of better examples than the remote world of pumped up track and field sprinters controlling their own destinies.

Yozhik

Craig in few sentences you said so much that requires paragraphs to answer for less skilled person .
1. X days do exist by FINA rules. After ban expiration swimmers have to be treated same way as any other. Don’t like this – you have rights to demand changes. Until then we have to follow rules same way as we demand dopers to follow rules of fair competition. Your asterisk invention are welcome by some group of people and may look cruel to someone else. I lean to those who are for harsh punishment, but just cutting hands for stealing or killing with stones for adultery didn’t stop such kind of crime. I am not a professional in “crime and punishment” area but I know for sure that it is not that simple as it may look from the first glance.
2. If the story of Sun Young is the story of continuing for many years usage of performance enhancement drugs in order to give him some advantage but not to cure his heart. If this story was carefully guarded and covered up because those who run it knew very well that this area is not even gray anymore but is already very black and it is a matter of months to become prohibited. Then I will say that the story of Sun Young is not much different from any other bad examples of China’s doping cases. Since I don’t know how much of those “IFs” are true I wouldn’t speculate respecting Sun Young’s achievements. But this is completely different language of yours and is not just about of “… respect the rules of engagement and your fellow competitors.” And I am listening very careful respecting your qualified opinion as well.
3. You have no way to know what I WILL say based on assumption of what I CAN say. So, please, don’t make me look bad for no reason responding on my post. You cannot jail all male population as rapists just because they have pines. If they CAN doesn’t necessarily mean they WILL.

Ger

Why does FINA allow anyone with a potentially serious medical condition to compete at all? In doing so, are they in any way liable should something go wrong in competition? Also, could they not have ordered an independent medical examination of Sun Yang to determine for themselves the nature of the problem and even determine if one truly existed?

Yozhik

Ger, how about this? “…..In 2003, Vollmer underwent heart surgery to correct a condition called supraventricular tachycardia, which produces a quickened pulse rate of about 240 beats per minute. ………. Her physicians recommended that she always have a defibrillator at the poolside whenever she swims in case of a heart emergency.” Wikipedia
Do you think it is insane and FINA should stop such activity? Is Dana a new person after surgery and how does it different from heart cureing drugs that help it work better?

Craig Lord

Yozhik. It differs quite radically, in my view. Dana Vollmer is one of quite a few swimmers down the years who were treated for conditions beyond the realm of sport and were given medical advice that it was ok to continue. At no stage did any of those cases lead to a positive doping test. Process was followed; people were informed; transparency was part of the picture. Domenico Fioravanti was among swimmers who were told – in Italy – that the condition he suffered meant that he should retire – a case of medical opinion suggesting and authorities heeding it safer not to be a world-class athlete training many KM in water event week. FINA is not the authority that could prevent an athlete deemed medically sound from competing in its event (it can intervene if there is evidence to suggest an athlete is not fit to compete); the jurisdiction for such things rests with nations. The questions on Sun are not affected by any of the above. He is said to have a heart condition, one that can be fatal, for which Tri was prescribed (from 2008 onwards, it would seem by the accounts in the Chinese media). Tri was placed on the banned list from Jan 2014 after a Sept 2013 announcement … and – eight-nine months later – Sun was still taking what had become a banned substance.
The trouble with Sun’s case beyond the positive and what any of us may read, one way of the other, into a prolonged period of taking a substance that must have propped him up and enhanced his performance (no retrospective suspension suggested on my part, of course), is the huge lack of transparency and the obvious breaking of rules by many on matters such as reporting deadlines and imposing a penalty when the case clearly called for it under the WADA Code.
Some conditions come with a TUE. None for substances used to treat potentially fatal heart conditions.
There is no suggestion that the treatment received by Vollmer and others such as Rebecca Soni, enhanced their sports performance; rather it saved their lives/returned them to normality, and made sport possible without the need – as far as we are aware – of treatment over 7 long years with a substance that has now made it to the banned list because of clear evidence that it is being abused by those attempting to cheat (WADA, not me saying that).

bkkang Kang

ROY :
To certain people the upcoming of Mack Horton and young guns will hopefully regain the former glories of Down Under especially long distance swimming as the great swimmer trainer Mr. G Hackett stated ” Australia “patented right” in 1500 M s and WR) regretfully being taken away by Sun Yang. Anyway, MR. Denis Cotterell once quoted ” Sun Yang is much bigger than Grant ..”. The negative publicity taunted during his (SY) training stints aftermath TMZ’s incident (a silver bullet) was deliberately done partly to disrupt and discredit his worthiness and his challenge to defense his lofty height and thereafter. I look forward toward more records thus proving his phenomenal ability and determination to excel in his “new-comeback kid” attitude ( thankfully he has matured and positive training attitude towards swimming has been rekindled).

Los Feliz

Craig Lord, technically Sun’s best 1500m time at 16 year old should be less or equal to 14:48. You have listed above that it was 15:15.

I just want to point out the fact that Sun Yang scored 15:05 at the 1500 final of Beijing Olympics, when he was 16. However, in the same event he had 14:48 in heat. Thanks.

Craig Lord

Los Feliz, on the day of publication, I corrected that myself – you have to look a little deeper

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