China reinstates suspended swimmer Sun Yang
MAR 19, 2014 8:39a ET
BEIJING (AP) Olympic swimming champion Sun Yang was reinstated by China on Wednesday following his suspension last year for a driving infraction.
''The national team welcomes Sun,'' Shang Xiutang, deputy head of the Chinese Swimming Administrative Center was quoted as saying by the Xinhua News Agency. ''We always hope he can realize his mistake and come back. We hope he can do better in the future.''
Sun was the first Chinese man to win an Olympic swimming gold medal with his victories in the 1,500- and 400-meter freestyle events at the 2012 London Games.
He was suspended indefinitely from training and competition in November after being detained for seven days for driving without a license.
That came after the Porsche SUV he was driving was hit by a bus in the eastern city of Hangzhou. Sun apologized and said his busy training and competition schedule left him with a weak understanding of the law.
It's not clear when Sun will return to competition. He also underwent surgery this year for an infection.
A product of China's strict state sports system, Sun was 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, suspended from commercial endorsements and forced to make a public apology.