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The firm’s Sports & Entertainment Group recently represented the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in its successful appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against a decision by swimming’s governing body, the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA).

FINA had previously cleared swimmer Sun Yang, the most decorated Chinese swimmer in history, of wrongdoing in an out-of-competition drug test in September 2018 in which Sun questioned the credentials of testers and smashed vials containing his blood samples. Sun is a three-time Olympic gold medalist and 11-time world champion. FINA’s hearing panel cleared Sun to continue to compete but WADA appealed, seeking a substantial suspension. Sun previously served a three-month ban in 2014 for testing positive for a banned stimulant.

CAS heard WADA’s case against Sun on Nov. 15, 2019, in a public hearing at a hotel in Montreux, Switzerland. This was only the second time in the history of CAS that a hearing was held in public and the first time a CAS hearing was live-streamed, with more than 2.5 million viewers.

On Feb. 28, CAS upheld the appeal lodged by WADA and banned Sun from swimming for eight years. As a result of the ruling, Sun will be unable to defend his 200-meter freestyle title at the Tokyo Olympics, and the eight-year ban means the 28-year-old’s career is effectively finished.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s team working on behalf of WADA was led by Colorado Springs Partners Rich Young and Brent Rychener, with support from Suzanne Crespo and Rob Bower.

This document provides a general summary and is for information/educational purposes only. It is not intended to be comprehensive, nor does it constitute legal advice. Specific legal advice should always be sought before taking or refraining from taking any action.