Chinese swimmer Sun Yang was banned for eight years on Friday and will miss the 2020 Tokyo Olympics because he broke anti-doping rules in a late-night incident in which a blood sample container was smashed with a hammer.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport found the three-time Olympic champion guilty of refusing to cooperate with sample collectors during a visit to his home in September 2018 that turned confrontational.
In a rare hearing in open court in November, evidence was presented of how a security guard instructed by Sun's mother broke the casing around a vial of his blood, while the swimmer lit the early-hours scene with his mobile phone.
"The athlete failed to establish that he had a compelling justification to destroy his sample collection containers and forego the doping control when, in his opinion, the collection protocol was not in compliance," the CAS panel of three judges agreed in a unanimous verdict.
China's greatest ever swimmer, and one of its biggest sports stars, had asked CAS for a public trial.
A 10-hour hearing broadcast on the court's website showed Sun to be evasive at times under questioning that was hampered by severe translation issues between Chinese and English. The CAS panel's verdict was delayed until all parties got a verified translation.
The 6-foot, 7-inch (2-meter) Sun, the first Chinese swimmer to win Olympic gold, has long been a polarizing figure in the pool.
Rivals branded him a drug cheat at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, and two competitors refused to stand with him on medal podiums at the 2019 world championships.
Now banned until February 2028, the 28-year-old Sun cannot defend his 200-meter freestyle title in Tokyo.
The World Anti-Doping Agency went to CAS after a FINA tribunal only warned Sun. The first ruling was that anti-doping protocol was not followed, making the samples invalid, and cited doubts about credentials shown to him by the sample collection team.
"WADA ... is satisfied that justice in this case has been rendered," the body's director general Olivier Niggli said in a statement.
Sun can now appeal to Switzerland's supreme court, but on narrow procedural grounds. His lawyers have already had three federal appeals dismissed on legal process issues.
WADA requested a ban of between two and eight years for a second doping conviction. Sun served a three-month ban in 2014 imposed by Chinese authorities after testing positive for a stimulant that was banned at the time. The ban was not announced until after it ended.
That first case led to criticism of FINA for appearing to protect one of the sport's biggest stars in a key market.
Sun never missed a major event while banned in 2014. He added 200 gold at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics to the historic 400 and 1,500 titles he took in London four years earlier.
He won a total of 11 golds in five straight world championships from 2011 to 2019, at each freestyle distance from 200 to 1,500. At three Asian Games from 2010 to 2018, he won nine gold medals.
Days after the 2018 Asian Games, Sun was visited at his home by three officials sent by a Swedish firm to get blood and urine samples from him. International athletes must notify where and when they will be available for one hour each day, and Sun had suggested late on Sept. 4.
When FINA prosecuted Sun following the incident, its tribunal panel in January 2019 merely warned Sun and cited doubts about the officials' credentials.
Although Sun and his entourage, including his mother, were criticized for their conduct, the FINA panel said the sample mission was void because anti-doping protocol was not followed. Technically, Sun was judged to be not properly notified of needing to give samples.
In the CAS hearing, questioning by judges and WADA's lawyers revealed skepticism that an experienced athlete could claim to be so unfamiliar with the process and the paperwork.
FINA and Sun's legal team failed in pre-trial efforts to remove WADA's lead prosecutor from the case. They argued there was a conflict of interest because of the lawyer's previous work with FINA, but Sun's appeal was dismissed by CAS at an earlier hearing.
A push. That's what guided Tyler Andrews to Atlanta for the U.S. Olympic marathon trials this weekend.
From himself, to rebel against the traditional model of what a distance runner should resemble coming out of high school.
From his coach, who saw something special in him if he just dug deep.
From his family, who constantly supported him.
And from that potentially life-saving push when he was 6 years old.
It was just a playful shove from his older brother that knocked the youthful Andrews to the ground. A mysterious-looking rash suddenly developed on his upper torso, arm and under one eye.
That set off alarms and led to an early diagnosis of aplastic anemia, a rare condition in which the bone marrow fails to produce new blood cells.
His childhood ordeal helped form a "conquer-anything" mentality that started him down the road to where he is today — an elite runner who takes a scientific approach to lowering his time.
"I don't know if it's conscious but it definitely shaped my personality, having gone through that and come out on the other side," said t he 29-year-old from Concord, Massachusetts, who's making his second Olympic marathon trials appearance. "There's definitely an attitude coming through of, 'Hey, you've done pretty good so far, so let's appreciate this and be thankful we're still here.'"
Andrews may not be the most recognizable name or among the favorites in Saturday's race. Don't be surprised, though, should he make a run at one of the three U.S. men's marathon spots for the Tokyo Games.
He's faced tough odds before.
Ask Andrews about his childhood illness and he can't recall all that much. He remembers things like being afraid of the nurses when they came into his room during nightly visits to draw blood. Or hoping to get the room with the better video-game console while waiting for treatments.
His parents, Tim Andrews and Valerie Cummings, recall everything. How horsing around with his brother led to the detection of his disease. After his fall, Tyler Andrews developed petechiae, which are round spots that appear on the skin as a result of bleeding.
They took him to the hospital, where doctors made the discovery of aplastic anemia.
He essentially needed to have his bone marrow rebooted. So doctors suppressed it through chemotherapy and then just waited to see if it worked.
It was about a six-month process.
"A brief time in the grand scheme of things," his father said. "But in the middle of it? It seemed like an eternity. They did incredible work with him."
To this day, Andrews still sees the same pediatric specialist. He sits in the waiting area in the tiny chairs before undergoing lab work. He's always received the same sort of report — no sign of the disease reappearing.
"It's a lot of the same staff and they're always excited to see him," his mom said. "It's sort of like the miracle child coming in."
In high school, he went out for the cross country team only because his brother participated. His best time was around 18 minutes, 30 seconds, which was solid but not the sort of showing that screamed future Olympic marathon trials qualifier. He got faster at Tufts University, a Division III school in Medford, Massachusetts.
And then even faster after college.
He likes to say he threw a curve into the paradigm of identifying elite runners, who usually have fast mile and two-mile splits in high school and take off from there.
"For me, it's been a super-long and slow process," Andrews said.
One that's been bolstered by his engineering degree. He analyzes and maps out every aspect of running.
Mom: "He takes a very methodical, scientific approach."
Dad: "He's just a running nerd."
Helping him navigate his way is his high school coach, Jon Waldron. He's the one who convinced Andrews to throw himself into the sport. He's the one that showed Andrews there was a correlation between the work he put in and the results he got out.
"I just assumed runners were either good or not," said Andrews, who's the co-director of Strive Trips, which leads student-athletes on educational running excursions. "I wasn't that good so I wasn't really interested. But he showed me that I could get better at this thing."
Andrews finished the 2014 Boston Marathon in a time of 2 hours, 21 minutes, 33 seconds. A month later, he won the Vermont City Marathon.
"Just kept getting faster and faster and faster and faster," his father said.
Andrews qualified for the U.S. Olympic marathon trials leading into the 2016 Rio Games, but didn't have his best performance. He was dealing with exercise induced bronchial spasms that were exacerbated by the heat in Los Angeles. He actually thought about dropping out, but stuck with it to finish 83rd and more than 22 minutes behind winner Galen Rupp.
"At the time, I'd never dropped out of a race before," said Andrews, w ho's sponsored by Hoka One One and earned a silver medal at the 2016 50-kilometer world championships. "I didn't want that on my conscience."
Leading into the Olympic marathon trials, Andrews elevated his training by spending the last month in Quito, Equador, which is located more than 9,000 feet above sea level. That area has become his home-away-from-home as he trains with a fleet of runners.
Given his humble running beginnings, he still finds it somewhat awe-inspiring to line up with the likes of Rupp, Jared Ward, Scott Fauble and Leonard Korir, who are some of the favorites to earn a ticket to the Tokyo Games.
"As I get deeper and deeper into the sport, you realize how many tiers above you there are," Andrews explained. "At first, you think, 'One more jump and I'm right there.' Then you realize there's 10 more jumps above me."
His parents will be on hand to cheer him on. Tim will be taking pictures, while Valerie worries until he crosses the finish line.
It's a moment to reflect, too.
"We're just grateful every day," his father, "that he's here and living."
Residents of a Northern California community are at the epicenter of what officials are calling a turning point in the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus, as investigators try to retrace the steps of a hospitalized patient they believe to be the first in the U.S. to be infected without traveling internationally or being in close contact with anyone who had it.
Some took the news in stride even as federal infectious disease experts fanned out across Vacaville with teams of state and local health officials. Others stockpiled supplies for fear things could get worse despite official reassurances.
The community of about 100,000 is between San Francisco and Sacramento in Solano County, in the agricultural Central Valley near California's famous wine region. It is about 10 miles from Travis Air Force Base. Public health officials said they can find no connection between the infected woman and passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship who were evacuated to the base from where the ship was docked in Japan.
The development marks an escalation of the worldwide outbreak in the U.S. because it means the virus could now spread beyond the reach of preventative measures like quarantines, though state health officials said that had been inevitable and the risk of widespread transmission remained low.
McKinsey Paz, her husband and her boss at a Vacaville private security company weren't taking any chances. They hustled to a warehouse store Thursday for 10 cases of bottled water, canned food, staples like rice and beans, and cases of toilet paper and paper towels.
"We're not sure what's going to happen. Panic seems to do that to you," she said. "In case things get a little crazy, we didn't want to be the last ones. We're preparing for the worst."
Solano County Public Health Officer Dr. Bela Matyas said public health officials have identified dozens of people — but less than 100 — who had close contact with the woman. Those people are quarantined in their homes. A few have shown symptoms and are in isolation, Matyas said.
Officials are not too worried, for now, about casual contact, because federal officials think the coronavirus is spread only through "close contact, being within six feet of somebody for what they're calling a prolonged period of time," said Dr. James Watt, interim state epidemiologist at the California Department of Public Health.
The virus can cause fever, coughing, wheezing and pneumonia. Health officials think it spreads mainly from droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how the flu spreads.
Several Vacaville residents said they will try to avoid crowded places for now, while taking other routine and recommended precautions like frequent and thorough hand-washing.
Others plan to do more.
"I'm definitely going to wear my mask and gloves at work, because I'm a server," said Denise Arriaga, who works at a popular bowling alley. She has seen more patrons there wearing masks recently and said she doesn't care if she's criticized for the extra precautions.
"At the end of the day, it's my life," she said.
The case raised questions about how quickly public health officials are moving to diagnose and treat new cases. State and federal health officials disagreed about when doctors first requested the woman be tested.
Doctors at the UC Davis Medical Center said they asked the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to test the woman for the virus on Feb. 19. But they said the CDC did not approve the testing until Sunday "since the patient did not fit the existing CDC criteria" for the virus, according to a memo posted to the hospital's website.
The woman first sought treatment at NorthBay VacaValley Hospital in Vacaville, before her condition worsened and she was transferred to the medical center.
CDC spokesman Richard Quartarone said a preliminary review of agency records indicates the agency did not know about the woman until Sunday, the same day the woman was first tested.
That's the kind of confusion that concerns Paz, whose security company has already stockpiled 450 face masks and is scrambling for more "since they're hard to come by." The owner also bought enough cleaning and disinfectant supplies to both scrub down the office and send home with employees.
But they are at the extreme when it comes to such preparations.
Eugenia Kendall was wearing a face mask, but in fear of anything including the common cold. Her immune system is impaired because she is undergoing chemotherapy, and she has long been taking such precautions.
"We're not paranoid. We're just trying to be practical," said her husband of 31 years, Ivan Kendall. "We wipe the shopping carts if they have them, and when I get back in the car I wipe my hands — and just hope for the best."
Investigators were focused on tracing the woman's movements to figure out how she got the virus and who else she may have unwittingly infected.
With the patient as ground zero, they are interviewing immediate family members. Then, as with any similar case, they are expanding the net to include more distant family members who may have been in contact, social gatherings like church that the patient may have attended, and any possible time spent at work or events like a concert.
All of the 59 other cases in the U.S. have been for people who had traveled abroad or had close contact with others who traveled.
Earlier U.S. cases included 14 in people who returned from outbreak areas in China, or their spouses; three people who were evacuated from the central China city of Wuhan; and 42 American passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
The global count of those sickened by the virus hovered Thursday around 82,000, with 433 new cases reported in China and another 505 in South Korea.
Former world No.1, four-time Grand Slam champion and two-time BNP Paribas Open champion Kim Clijsters was awarded a wildcard into the 2020 event.
The 36-year-old Belgian, who announced her return to professional tennis late last year after an eight-year hiatus from the Tour, will be playing in just her third tournament back. She will be returning to the event -- where she is a two-time champion (2003, 2005) -- for the first time since 2011.
A member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Clijsters spent 19 weeks as the No. 1 player in the world before retiring for the first time in 2007 to start a family. Clijsters returned to the Tour in 2009 following the birth of her first child and won the US Open that August in just her third tournament back. She went on to win two more Grand Slam titles (2010 US Open, 2011 Australian Open) and reclaim the No.1 ranking before retiring for a second time in 2012.
Now a mother of three, Clijsters launched the third phase of her career at Dubai last week, and will also play at the Monterrey Open before returning to the Indian Wells Tennis Garden for the 2020 BNP Paribas Open.
The event will be held between March 9-22 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
Faridpur Police Lines School made a good start in the Bangabandhu First Security Islami Bank National School Hockey beating Cumilla Rafiquddin Memorial High School by 2-1 goals in the opening match at Maulana Bhashani National Stadium here on Wednesday afternoon.
Morsalin Khan Niloy scored both the goals for the winners in the 44th and 47th minute while Arif netted lone goal for the losers in the 29th minute.
Earlier, in the day’s first match in the morning, Mymensingh Police Lines School played a 1-1 draw with Rangpur Shisu Niketan at the same venue.
Aminur put Rangpur team ahead in the 5th minute while Badhan leveled the margin in the 36th minute from a penalty stroke.
Earlier, Managing Director of the meet’s sponsor First Security Islami Bank Syed Mohammad Wasek Ali and Air Officer Commanding of BAF Base Bangabandhu Air Vice-Marshall Mohammad Sayed Hossain inaugurated the final round of the meet in the afternoon.
Eighteen school teams from nine zonal venues have been qualified for the final round.