Sun Yang out of world-record event at world championships as court decision looms

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Controversial swimming star Sun Yang is not entered in the 1500m freestyle at the world championships, despite being the world-record holder in the longest event on the pool program.

He is entered in the 200m, 400m and 800m frees at worlds that start Sunday in South Korea.

Sun, a 27-year old with 12 combined Olympic and world titles between the 200m and 1500m frees, has been largely absent from the 1500m since lowering the world record at the 2011 World Championships and 2012 Olympics by a combined 3.54 seconds. Nobody has been that close to his record since.

Sun withdrew minutes before the 2015 Worlds 1500m final, citing heart issues while declining to comment when asked about a reported warm-up altercation with a Brazilian swimmer.

In Rio, he failed to make it out of the preliminary heats, swimming 30.95 seconds slower than his world record. Sun was entered in the 1500m free at 2017 Worlds but didn’t show for the prelims.

Sun was also suspended three months in 2014 for a banned stimulant, though the punishment wasn’t announced by Chinese officials until after he served the time. Then Sun was given a warning by FINA’s independent panel, but no ban, for reportedly having his drug-test blood sample destroyed with a hammer in September.

The World Anti-Doping Agency appealed for a harsher sentence to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The hearing will happen after worlds in September, according to Agence France-Presse.

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