Doping-tainted swimming star Sun Yang looks set to miss the Paris Olympics after China published its selection criteria for the 2024 Games.
The Chinese Swimming Association said on Friday its team would be chosen based on the results of the world championships in 2023 and the 2024 world championships in Doha as well as results at the national championships, which will take place on April 19-27.
That would rule out six-time Olympic medallist Sun, whose doping suspension does not end until May.
The Chinese Swimming Association said in a statement: “The top 8 results from the finals of each swimming event from the 2023 Fukuoka World Aquatics Championships and the 2024 Doha World Aquatics Championships (and the) 2024 National Swimming Championship results will be treated as qualifying results.”
Sun, 32, was suspended for eight years by the World Anti-Doping Agency in 2020 after smashing vials of blood during a 2018 doping test, the circumstances of which he still disputes.
He succeeded in reducing the ban after appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Sun has expressed an interest in returning to competition in time for Paris, which would be his fourth Olympics.
In a post on his Weibo social media page on Saturday, he said: “Swimming is an inalienable part of my life, and I will always be passionate about it.” He made no other statement.
He burst to prominence at the 2012 London Olympics, winning golds in the 400m freestyle and 1,500m freestyle plus silver in the 200m freestyle and a bronze medal in the 4x200m freestyle relay
Four years later in Rio he won the 200m freestyle gold and 400m freestyle silver. He is also a 11-time world champion.