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Olympic champ Sun Yang receives further punishment

Updated: 2013-11-07 09:02
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - China's double Olympic champion Sun Yang has received further punishment as the Chinese Swimming Administrative Center (CSAC) on Wednesday suspended him from all the competitions and training.

Sun was "suspended from all the competitions at home and abroad; suspended from the training of the national swimming team; and suspended from all the social and commercial activities involving the national team", the CSAC said in the statement.

The London Olympic 400m and 1,500m freestyle winner was caught driving without a license in a car accident in Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang Province Sunday.

He was given a seven-day detention and fined for 2,000 yuan (about $328) by Hangzhou police department on Monday.

The CSAC said they "fully supported" Hangzhou's decision.

"Sun's driving without a license has bad effects on society," said the CSAC. "As an Olympic champion, Sun should conduct himself properly.

"He turned a blind eye to the law and broke a series of team rules, violated the spirit of sport and harmed the images of the Chinese swimming team and Chinese athletes.

"Sun had made a contribution to Chinese swimming and we hope he can learn a lesson this time and profoundly reflect on what he has done."

The CSAC also said they were fully behind the Zhejiang College of Sports, which on Monday gave Sun an indefinite ban from competition.

The college, to which the dual Olympic champion is affiliated, said "Sun refused to return to the team after holiday and he was unreachable until the car accident took place".

The college said Sun even went to Thailand for a trip without team approval.

It wasn't the first time for the college to punish the star swimmer, who had been accused of "indiscipline" in February, deducted of a month of allowance and "provincially suspended" from commercial activities.

The 22-year-old apologized on Monday.

"I should have been a role model as an athlete and a public figure but I failed my responsibility," said Sun.

"I am deeply sorry for what I have done and will reflect on my behavior. Because I have been focusing on training and competition, I ignored learning some legal knowledge, which led to my mistake," he wrote on Weibo, the Chinese microblogging equivalent to Twitter.

Sun rocketed to join basketball giant Yao Ming and tennis queen Li Na as Chinese sports icons after winning two gold medals at the 2012 London Games, but he went through a difficult year after the Games.

Sun has been struggling to balance his romance and career, which led to strained relationships with his long-time mentor Zhu Zhigen.

Sun had split with Zhu in the middle of the year and not until the Barcelona World Championships did they get back together.

With Zhu's help, Sun claimed the men's 400m and 1,500m titles at the worlds. He also became the most successful swimmer in the National Games with five gold medals.

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