Park turns to CAS in bid to overturn KOC ban

Fri May 13, 2016 11:28pm EDT
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By Jee Heun Kahng

SEOUL (Reuters) - Former Olympic swimming champion Park Tae-hwan has asked the Court of Arbitration for Sport to "mediate" with the Korean Olympic Committee, the KOC said on Saturday, after he was left off the team due to a controversial doping ban.

Park, who has already served an 18-month doping ban imposed by world governing body FINA, is fighting to overturn a KOC regulation that has tacked on an additional three-year suspension, which would rule him out of the Rio Olympics.

Critics of the regulation say it punishes an athlete twice for the same offense but the KOC says it is aimed at keeping Korean sport free of doping.

World sport is facing an unprecedented drug crisis and this week's World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) foundation board meeting was rocked by yet another string of doping bombshells involving Russian athletes.

“Park asked CAS for mediation, and CAS notified the KOC and the swimming federation that such a request came in," a KOC spokesman said on Saturday.

He added that while Park had requested an interview with the KOC and a meeting had been scheduled for May 25, the committee had not shifted its position.

"There is no change in the KOC stance that doping should be dealt with zero tolerance.”

Park's management agency said on Saturday he had filed his appeal with CAS on April 26 but asked the sporting tribunal to suspend it two days later until he had received a final decision from the KOC.   Continued...

South Korea's Olympic swimming champion Park Tae-hwan attends a news conference at a hotel in Seoul March 27, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji