Translation issues plague early stages of swimmer Sun Yang's hearing at Court of Arbitration for Sports

Sun has been cleared of wrongdoing by swimming governing body FINA over his conduct during a random drug test in September last year, but the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has appealed to CAS against that ruling

Reuters November 15, 2019 18:51:52 IST
Translation issues plague early stages of swimmer Sun Yang's hearing at Court of Arbitration for Sports
  • Chinese multiple world and Olympic champion Sun Yang defence against allegations he committed anti-doping violations was affected by translation problems during the opening stages of a Court of Arbitration (CAS) hearing on Friday

  • Sun has been cleared of wrongdoing by swimming governing body FINA over his conduct during a random drug test in September last year, but the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has appealed to CAS against that ruling

  • Sun was the first to give evidence before a CAS tribunal in the day-long hearing and the translation problems began with the first question

Montreux: Chinese multiple world and Olympic champion Sun Yang’s defence against allegations he committed anti-doping violations was affected by translation problems during the opening stages of a Court of Arbitration (CAS) hearing on Friday.

Translation issues plague early stages of swimmer Sun Yangs hearing at Court of Arbitration for Sports

Sun Yang confers with his counsel during the hearing. AFP

Sun has been cleared of wrongdoing by swimming’s governing body FINA over his conduct during a random drug test in September last year, but the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has appealed to CAS against that ruling.

Sun, who asked for a public hearing, faces a potential ban of up to eight years which would rule him out of next year’s Tokyo Olympics if he loses the case.

Sun was the first to give evidence before a CAS tribunal in the day-long hearing and the translation problems began with the first question.

“The translator has not translated,” said Sun’s lawyer Ian Meakin. “He doesn’t understand.” Shortly afterwards, Meakin complained again. “I’m sorry for leading but the translation was so bad,” he said.

Meakin objected for a third time that a question to Sun from WADA’s counsel had been translated into Chinese as “200 millilitres of blood” instead of “200 times”.

“If you want him to answer the question, the translation must be correct,” said Meakin.

CAS general secretary Matthieu Reeb said that the interpreters were provided by the participants.

He said the problem made the hearing more complex “because it slows down a little bit the procedure, we have to ask the witness or the parties to repeat the answers or the questions and this is not a good point.”

Sun served a three-month doping suspension in 2014 for taking the stimulant trimetazidine, which he said he took to treat a heart condition.

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