Swimming-Korea's Park 'shocked' by failed dope test

Tue Jan 27, 2015 4:13am EST
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SEOUL (Reuters) - Olympic swimming gold medalist Park Tae-hwan has been left "shocked" by a positive doping test, which his agency has attributed to an injection given to the South Korean swim star during chiropractic treatment ahead of last year's Asian Games.

Park won the 400 meters freestyle crown at the 2008 Beijing Games and is a two-time world champion.

His clean-cut image and poster-boy looks have made him one of the most popular athletes in South Korea, where he is known affectionately as 'Marine Boy'.

However, that image looks to have been tarnished by a failed test, which the Korea Swimming Federation said was administered by the sport's world governing body FINA, South Korea's Yonhap News reported on Tuesday.

The swimmer was notified of the failed test in December, it added.

Park's agency, Team GMP, said the swimmer had repeatedly asked if the injection contained illegal substances but had been assured it was safe.

"As a world class swimmer, Park Tae-hwan has been extremely careful about what he takes, and he hasn't even taken cold medicine so that he wouldn't fail doping tests," Yonhap quoted the statement as saying.

"Park is more shocked by this result than anyone else."

Park's agency said it would soon hold a media conference to discuss the issue.   Continued...

South Korea's Park Tae-hwan holds his silver medal for the men's 400m freestyle final during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre July 28, 2012.       REUTERS/David Gray