Korean Park wants resolution to 'double jeopardy' ruling

Mon May 2, 2016 10:20pm EDT
 
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By Jee Heun Kahng

SEOUL (Reuters) - Swimmer Park Tae-hwan is still waiting to hear from the Korean Olympic Committee (KOC) on whether it will drop a controversial rule that has tacked on three years to his doping ban imposed by governing body FINA, his management team said on Tuesday.

Park completed an 18-month ban in March after testing positive for testosterone ahead of the Incheon Asian Games in Sept. 2014 but under KOC regulations he must wait another three years to be eligible for national selection again.

Critics of the regulation say it punishes an athlete twice for the same offence and there have been suggestions the swimmer could take his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

In 2011, CAS ruled that the IOC's "Osaka Rule", which banned athletes hit with anti-doping suspensions of at least six months from competing at the next Olympic Games, was a violation of its own statutes.

Under the KOC's rule, Park would miss out on this summer's Rio Olympics and regain eligibility at the age of 29, typically well beyond a swimmer's peak.

Despite the ban, Park decided to compete at last week's national trials and won the 100m, 200m, 400m and 1,500m freestyle events. He swam the year's fourth fastest time in the 400m.

The 26-year-old, who won gold in the 400m freestyle at the 2008 Beijing Games to become the first Korean to win an Olympic swimming medal, had heard nothing directly from the KOC and would soon decide on his next move, Team GMP told Reuters.

“Park has not received any final notice from the KOC," the official said by telephone on Tuesday.   Continued...

 
South Korea's Olympic swimming champion Park Tae-hwan reacts as he answers reporters' questions during a news conference at a hotel in Seoul March 27, 2015.  REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji