China's swimming national team lifts Sun Yang's ban

Updated: 2014-03-20 15:51


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China's swimming national team lifts Sun Yang's ban

Chinese Olympic swimming champion Sun Yang celebrates after winning men's 200m freestyle finals at the 12th National Games in this Sept 6, 2013 file photo. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING - The Chinese swimming national team lifted the ban on Olympic champion Sun Yang on Wednesday following his suspension last year for a driving infraction.

Sun, the first Chinese man to win an Olympic swimming gold with his victories in the 400 and 1,500-meter freestyle at the London Games, was suspended from training and competing indefinitely last November after he was given seven days of detention as punishment for driving without a license.

Sun was suspended from all the competitions and training by the Chinese swimming team last November after he was caught driving without a license in a car accident in Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province.

Sun apologized and said his busy training and competition schedule left him with a weak understanding of the law.

He was then banned by the Zhejiang College of Sports as well as the national team.

The college lifted Sun's ban earlier Wednesday and asked the national team to let the swimmer back to training.

"The national team welcomes Sun," said Shang Xiutang, deputy head of the Chinese Swimming Administrative Center (CSAC). "We always hope he can realize his mistake and come back. We hope he can do better in the future."

The London Olympic champion has been going through a hard time after taking surgery of paronychia earlier this year. He has been out of systematic training for a long time and struggled with finding his form. It's still unknown whether he can take part in the National Championships in May.

Sun has come to Beijing for rehabilitation training since Feb 20.

"Sun need time to be back in form," Shang said.

Sun had been formally censured last year after feuding with his coach and missing practice in order to make commercial appearances and spend time with his stewardess girlfriend. He was docked a month's stipend and suspended from commercial endorsements.