|Sun Yang of China poses with the FINA trophy for best male swimmer at the 15th FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Spain, Aug. 4, 2013. (Xinhua/Wang Lili)|
Despite scandals that led to unfavorable publicity, Chinese Olympic champion swimmer Sun Yang has been nominated for the CCTV Sports Personality of the Year Award.
Sun, who was detained seven days in November for driving without a license, saw his reputation tarnished by the traffic accident that led to the detention and other violations of team rules. He is still suspended from training and competition.
The organization committee of the award disqualified Sun from individual categories because of the punishment.
However, the controversial star was still nominated as a member of the Best Group of the Year Award for winning a bronze medal along with three teammates in the men's 4x200m freestyle relay at the World Aquatics Championships this year in Barcelona, Spain.
Sun also won three gold medals in individual events - the 400m, 800m and 1,500m freestyle.
The list of 50 nominees for 10 different categories - including the Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and Coach of the Year - was announced on Dec 12 at the Beijing headquarters of PriceWaterhouseCoopers, which audits the selection process.
Leading the nominees for the high-profile Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year, two-time Olympic champion shuttler Lin Dan and tennis star Li Na, who just improved her world ranking to a career-high No 3. The nominees also include snooker sensation Ding Junhui, professional boxer Xiong Chaozhong, and female Olympic champion speed skater Wang Meng.
Chinese Super League giant Guangzhou Evergrande made the list for Best Team of the Year Award with its groundbreaking AFC Champions League title win in November, while the team's Italian head coach, Marcello Lippi, was nominated for Coach of the Year.
A jury of 384 members compiled the nomination list, and 150 judges will select the eventual winners for each category. Winners will be feted at an awards ceremony on Jan 11.
Apart from their athletic achievements, this year's awards place particular emphasis on the nominees' professional spirit, the organizing committee said.