Sun Yang receives a massage after a training session with the national team in Beijing in this file photo of December 16, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

Fans keen to see the return of banned Sun Yang to the pool have had their hopes dashed after the Chinese Swimming Association was forced to deny a report that claimed the three-time Olympic champion could train with the national team.

On Wednesday, Beijing Youth Daily reported that Sun, who in February was banned for eight years for alleged breaches of anti-doping rules, had been permitted to join a Chinese national team training camp in Zhejiang province from April until June.

A photo of a purported official document from the Chinese Swimming Association accompanied the article. It stated that Sun and his coach should report to the Zhejiang Sports Bureau on April 1.