How to Manage Star Athletes like Sun Yang
    2013-11-06 18:25:15         Web Editor: Mao

China's double Olympic swimming champion Sun Yang has been suspended from all competition and training.

He is now spending seven days in detention, after driving without a license.

The event has prompted heated debate over how to manage star athletes.

CRI's Xie Zhao has more.


Sun Yang has been sentenced to a week in detention and fined 2-thousand yuan, or some 3-hundred US dollars, for driving without a license in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province last week.

Zhang Yadong, vice president with Zhengjiang College of Sports where Sun Yang studies, says the police assumed Sun Yang had a driver's license because he is the brand ambassador for a South Korean car company.

"He made a car advertisement on TV. So the traffic policeman believed he had a license. After looking into the system, the policeman discovered Sun does not have a license at all."

The issue has triggered a heated debate as to how to manage star athletes.

On top of the driving accident, Sun has also been suspended from all commercial activities for breaching a "series of team rules" in February.

Wu Han, vice editor-in-Chief with TiTan Sports, says the star athletes' great achievements can often mask the loopholes of sports management system.

"Some problems occur when the traditional professional management model contradicts the current sports professionalism trend. In the past, the athletes' achievements were considered as a simple evaluation standard in the traditional management model. When the athletes have good achievements, they can make a compromise with the management model."

Yang Ming, a sports reporter at Xinhua News Agency says Sun Yang needs a management team just as China's famous athlete Liu Xiang has one, to support him.

"Sun Yang can be compared with Liu Xiang as both swimming and track and field are big athletics games. Liu can garner support from a management team authorized by the Chinese Athletic Association. Though they are not as professional as world-class teams, it still works for Liu Xiang."

Wu Han adds China's tennis Ace Li Na also has her own management team.

"Li Na, she should self-discipline as an international professional player on one hand. On the other, she has her own team to manage her. At the beginning of this year, Li got involved in a verbal dispute with a reporter when the French Open was underway. Afterwards, the dispute had been well dealt with through her team, her coach and herself. "

But Wu Han also adds different management models should be adopted when it comes to managing different star athletes.

For CRI, I am Xie Zhao.


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