Park Tae-Hwan Can Train During Ban, Says FINA

Korean swimmer Park Tae-Hwan has been allowed by FINA, the world governing body of swimming, to train while serving a doping ban.

This announcement came a week after a public pool in Seoul allowed Park Tae-hwan to join a class. Tae-hwan, serving an 18-month ban for doping, was allowed by parents of local school children to join the swimming class and his presence in the pool is not forbidden under rules of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Park is expected to appear as a witness of June 4 in court in the case against the doctor who pleaded not guilty on the count of failing to disclose the presence of testosterone in an injection that was administered to Tae-Hwan last year. The injection resulted in Park testing positive. The suspension of Park Tae-Hwan started on September 3, 2014 and ends on March 2, 2016.

One of the most-popular anabolic androgenic steroids, Testosterone is on the list of substances banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Prosecutors claimed that the swimmer received an injection of a drug called Nebido in July last year at the hospital. Nebido, known as injectable testosterone, is primarily used to treat erectile dysfunction. The injection was administered to Park while he was receiving a free chiropractic treatment. The swimmer claimed that he asked the doctor if there were any banned substances in the injection but did not check the name of the drug. The doctor replied that testosterone was administered to supplement a shortage of the hormone. It was further claimed by the doctor that he did not know it was a banned substance.

According to media reports, Park had recorded the conversations between him and the physician. The physician remarked he was unaware of the recordings and added we inform all of our patients who receive our anti-aging program that they are given male hormone therapy and we told Park Tae-hwan as well. The doctor said Park and his sister visited the clinic many times and asked if it was acceptable to be injected with testosterone suggesting that Park knew from the onset that he was being injected with testosterone and tacitly authorized it.

Park visited the hospital more than 20 times and received more expensive treatments than normally received by other patients. Prosecutors were told by the doctor that he injected testosterone to Park Tae-Hwan twice in December 2013 and July 2014 and also communicated what it was. The doctor went on to claim that he communicated the swimmer of the length of time testosterone would remain in his body but he was not aware that it was a banned substance.

The disgraced swimmer recently forfeited all his medals from the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon. Park won one silver and five bronze medals at the Asian Games. It was announced by the Olympic Council of Asia that all medals attained have been withdrawn and adjustments have been made to the medal table. The record of Park for most medals won by a Korean at the Asian Games was also nullified.

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