Olympics swimming star Sun Yang faces extended bans for driving without licence

Sun Yang , London Olympics gold medallist caught driving without a licence, lands further sanctions from national swimming authority

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 November, 2013, 4:06am
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 November, 2013, 4:06am


National sports authorities have suspended Olympic swimming champion Sun Yang from competition, national team training and commercial activities, reports said yesterday, after he was given seven days' detention for driving without a licence.

The move by the General Administration of Sport's swimming agency broadens an indefinite competition suspension by Sun's sports college.

Sun became a national celebrity after winning the 400m and 1500m freestyle golds at London 2012, and took three titles at the world championships earlier this year.

He was found not to have a licence after a white Porsche he was driving was rear-ended by a bus in Hangzhou on Sunday.

National sports authorities announced they had suspended Sun indefinitely from domestic and international competition, training with the national team, and any team social or commercial activities, the online edition of the People's Daily reported.

"Sun Yang ignored laws of the country and recently seriously violated the rules of his team several times," it said, quoting a statement by the swimming agency. "He violated the basic principles of morality and went against the spirit of sport, seriously damaging the image of the national swimming team and Chinese athletes."

The punishment was meant to "educate and redeem" the 21-year-old, warn other athletes, and "put into practice that everyone is equal before the law".

Sun was fined 2,000 yuan (HK$2,500) by Hangzhou police, according to media reports, and sentenced to seven days' "administrative detention", a punishment meted out without a trial to those declared by police to be guilty of minor offences.

Sun is held in a separate room from other inmates in the detention house to avoid "unnecessary troubles", and can read books, exercise and watch television, according to reports.

His food is also cooked separately to prevent any risk of exposure to substances banned in sports, they added.

Sun was previously embroiled in controversy after his long-time coach Zhu Zhigen told him to end his relationship with an air hostess. The two fell out over the issue, and Sun was accused of lacking respect for his mentor.

Driving and traffic regulations are widely flouted on the mainland, where violations of road rules by the rich or powerful are particularly sensitive.