China's disgraced three-time Olympic gold medallist Sun Yang says he is keen to return to competitive swimming "as soon as possible". Sun's ban after a member of his entourage smashed vials of blood with a hammer during a row with drug testers ended on Tuesday.

Sun was originally given a warning by swimming's governing body FINA (now World Aquatics) after his clash with testers in September 2018, but the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) appealed the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Having previously served a three-month suspension in 2014 for a positive test for trimetazidine - the same illegal substance as the 23 Chinese swimmers ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics - he was handed an eight-year ban. This was quashed when the president of the CAS panel, Franco Frattini, was found to have published racist tweets about China.

In the second hearing in June 2021 with a new panel, a suspension of four years and three months was issued effective from 28 February 2020. Before the first hearing, Sun had clashed with swimmers at the 2019 World Championships with first Australian Mack Horton refusing to step onto the podium after taking silver behind him Chinese in the 400m freestyle. When Sun went on to take gold in the 200m freestyle, bronze medallist Duncan Scott chose not to shake his hand with the victor shouting "loser" at the Briton.

Having missed his nation's Olympic Trials in February, Paris 2024 is not an option for the 32-year-old who told China's state-run media The Paper, "The Olympics are just a competition for me, they will end, and after they end, there will be another one. I am frequently doing some simulated competition tests now that I've returned to training... I am constantly trying to recapture that feeling.

"I hope that I'll be able to pick a competition and return to the starting block as soon as possible."

Sun became China's first Olympic swimming champion at London 2012 and was the first swimmer in history to win world and Olympic titles in every freestyle distance from 200-1500m.

On his four years away from competitive swimming, Sun - who married former rhythmic gymnast Zhang Doudou in July 2023 - commented, "When I look back, I think it's really no big deal. In fact, the biggest change in my past four years is that I started a family and now have another half. These four years have added some colour to my life."