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People's Republic of ChinaPeople's Republic of China, CHN


Further Personal Information

Date of birth
01 December 1991
200 cm
Hangzhou, CHN
Higher education
Sport Studies - Zhejiang University: Hangzhou, CHN

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up the sport in 1998 in Hangzhou, People's Republic of China.
Why this sport?
His potential was recognised by a teacher at Jinglun Sports School in Hangzhou, People's Republic of China.

International Debut

Competing for

General Interest

The Underwater Meteor (, 29 Jul 2012)
Listening to music. (Weibo profile, 05 Jul 2018)
Hero / Idol
Chinese swimmer Zhang Lin. (, 30 Jul 2012)
He was troubled by a recurring back injury in 2018. (, 16 Oct 2018)

He was affected by a high fever during the 1500m heats at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and he failed to progress through to the next round. (ONS, 13 Aug 2016)

He broke the fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot during a training session in Australia in January 2016. He returned to training in March 2016. (, 30 Jan 2016)

He withdrew from the final of the 1500m freestyle at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, Russian Federation, due to what he described as heart problems. (, 09 Aug 2015)

He had foot surgery for a toenail infection in February 2014. (, 07 Mar 2014;, 21 Mar 2014)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"You succeed when you believe that you can succeed." (Weibo profile, 05 Jul 2018)
Awards and honours
In 2017 the International Swimming Federation [FINA] presented him with a prize for Outstanding Contribution to Swimming Popularity in China. (, 02 Dec 2017)

In 2017 he received the Laureus Chinese Sportsman of the Year Award and Most Popular Male Athlete Award. (, 21 Dec 2017)

He was named the 2016 Male Athlete of Year by the sport bureau of Zhejiang Province in the People's Republic of China. (, 01 Jan 2017)

He was named Best Male Swimmer at the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona, Spain, and at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, Russian Federation. (, 09 Aug 2015;, 05 Aug 2013)

In 2011 and 2012 he was named Best Male Athlete at the China Central Television [CCTV] Sports Personality of the Year awards. (, 05 Feb 2013;, 15 Jan 2012)
He became the first Chinese male swimmer to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games when he placed first in the 400m freestyle at the 2012 Games in London. (, 28 Jul 2012; SportsDeskOnline, 11 Dec 2018)
Famous relatives
His father played basketball for Anhui Tigong and his mother competed in volleyball for Zhejiang Province in the People's Republic of China. (, 18 Sep 2012;, 11 Sep 2012;, 30 Jul 2012)
Other information
In February 2020 he received an eight-year suspension following a hearing by the Court of Arbitration for Sport [CAS]. The suspension came as a result of a confrontation with anti-doping officials at his residence in the People's Republic of China in September 2018 which resulted in the testing not being completed. The matter was initially referred to the International Swimming Federation [FINA] which found that protocol for the conduct of doping controls had not been properly followed and determined that Sun had not committed an anti-doping rule violation. The World Anti-Doping Agency [WADA] filed an appeal at CAS, arguing Sun had voluntarily refused to submit to sample collection, which was successful. As a result of the athlete's previous sanction in 2014, CAS imposed an eight-year period of ineligibility, starting from February 2020. (, 28 Feb 2020;, 28 Feb 2020;, 28 Feb 2020; Weibo profile, 28 Feb 2020)

He was banned for three months between May and August 2014 by the China Anti-Doping Agency [CHINADA] after testing positive for the banned substance trimetazidine. Sun claimed he had been taking medication containing trimetazidine to treat a heart condition since 2008 and was unaware it had been added to the World Anti-Doping Agency [WADA] banned list in 2014. (, 25 Nov 2014)

He has studied for a master's degree in physical education at Soochow University in Suzhou, People's Republic of China. In 2018 he began his doctor of philosophy [PhD] degree in human kinesiology at Shanghai University of Sport in People's Republic of China. (, 12 Sep 2018)