CAS upholds swimmer Park's appeal, cleared for Rio

Fri Jul 8, 2016 10:31am EDT
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By Peter Rutherford

SEOUL (Reuters) - The Court of Arbitration for Sport cleared the way for former Olympic swimming champion Park Tae-hwan to compete at the Rio Games on Friday after upholding his appeal against a controversial Korean Olympic Committee doping ban.

Park, the first Korean to win an Olympic swimming medal when he won gold in the 400 freestyle gold in Beijing, completed an 18-month ban imposed by world governing body FINA in March after testing positive for testosterone ahead of the 2014 Asian Games.

However, under a KOC regulation, he was then hit with an additional three-year ban from the national team the day the FINA suspension expired, effectively ruling him out of contention for the Rio Olympics.

Park took his case to CAS, sport's highest tribunal, and also filed an injunction against the KOC and Korea Swimming Federation with Seoul Eastern District Court, which ruled last week he should be considered eligible for selection.

On Friday, the deadline for South Korea to submit its list of Rio swimmers to FINA, CAS ruled that Park was eligible for selection for this summer's Games.

"The decision issued by the President of the CAS Appeals Arbitration Division means that he is eligible to be selected to swim for the Korean team in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games," CAS said in a news release.


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