(FILES) In this file photo taken on July 24, 2019, China’s Sun Yang prepares for the men’s 800m freestyle final in the swimming competition at the 2019 World Championships at the Nambu University Municipal Aquatic Center in Gwangju , South Korea. (Photo by Manan VATSYAYANA / AFP)

Chinese star swimmer Sun Yang, who is fighting to save his career after a doping controversy, had new hopes of making the Olympics after China declared the reigning world champions eligible in Tokyo.

The Chinese Swimming Association’s announcement comes as the three-time Olympic champion prepares for a new court hearing over his refusal to give a doping sample when testers visited his home in September 2018.

Sun, the 1,500m world record holder, won the 200m and 400m at the 2019 world championships in South Korea, where he faced protests on the podium from fellow swimmers about of his doping record.

The Chinese Swimming Association on Thursday outlined its Olympic Games eligibility criteria, saying all gold medalists at the 2019 world championships can participate.

The 29-year-old is not competing in this week’s Chinese championships and Olympic qualifiers in Quingdao, according to Chinese media.

Sun was suspended for up to eight years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in February last year, refusing to give samples in a surprise doping test where a vial of his blood was crushed with a hammer.

But Switzerland’s highest court overturned the ban in December, in a surprise decision in which it declared the CAS guilty of bias.

Sun will reappear in sports court May 24-28, just two months before the Tokyo Olympics.

Sun fiercely protested his innocence in the testing case, saying inspectors failed to produce documents proving their identity.

This was not Sun’s first doping controversy: he was suspended for three months in 2014 after testing positive for the stimulant trimetazidine, in a case that was only made public after serving most of the time. of the trouble.

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