Two-time Olympic swimming champion Sun Yang has been given a seven-day detention and fined 2,000 yuan (HK$2,526) for driving without a permit after the Porsche SUV he was driving was in collision with a bus, Xinhua reported yesterday.
Sun, 21, told his 20 million followers on Sina Weibo that he had been driving a relative's SUV when it was struck from behind by a bus on Sunday in his hometown, Hangzhou .
He said he didn't have a driver's permit and said the traffic police were still investigating him.
The Zhejiang College of Sports - Sun's provincial-level affiliate - announced it was suspending him from all competitions and training sessions, and that he could not engage in commercial promotional activities, Xinhua reported.
The sports institute said the punishment was also tied to Sun's earlier disciplinary problems. After the National Games concluded in mid-September, Sun failed to return to the college and travelled to Thailand for a five-day vacation without prior approval. The college recommended the national team suspend him from training.
Earlier yesterday, Sun, the first Chinese man to win an Olympic swimming gold with his victories in the 1,500- and 400-metre freestyle events at London 2012, offered an apology. He said he was usually busy with training and competing, and his lack of knowledge contributed to his mistake.
"As an athlete and public figure I should be a positive role model, but I haven't done a good job," a statement on his microblog read. "For this reason I deeply apologise and will reflect upon myself." Reaction on Weibo, where Sun's crash was the third most commented on topic on Monday, was broadly critical.
More than 4,000 people agreed on a Weibo poll that Sun should be punished, while 700 believed he should be let off.
Associated Press, Reuters