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Sunday 01, Feb 2015

  South Korean Swimming Star Fails Doping Test

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South Korean swimmer Park Tae-hwan, a 2008 Olympic champion, has failed a doping test after a local team injected him with Testosterone.

Seoul prosecutors said the hospital had testified it gave the swimmer the shot but did not realize it was against World Anti-Doping Agency regulations. According to media reports, Park had already been questioned by prosecutors and the doctor could face charges of negligence. The swimmer could still face punishment under the strict anti-doping rules even if he was not aware that he had been injected with a banned substance. A lengthy ban could derail Park’s hopes of swimming at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

At the 2008 Beijing Games, Park became the first South Korean to win an Olympic swimming medal when he conquered the 400mg freestyle. The swimmer is one of the most celebrated athletes in his country. Affectionally known as the “Marine Boy” because of its poster-boy looks and clean-cut image, his popularity has never wavered despite a dip in his performances in the recent years. Park has been the face of endorsements for headache pills, milk, communication equipment, and air conditioners besides being a goodwill ambassador for the Dynamic Korea promotion.

Park’s agency, Team GMP, said the swimmer had repeatedly asked the hospital if there were any illegal substances in the injection but he was assured it was safe. In a statement, Team GMP said Park Tae-hwan as a world-class swimmer for the last 10 years hasn’t taken so much as cold medicine, that’s how careful he’s been due to concerns about doping problems and illegal substances and added Park is more shocked by this result than anyone else.

Park’s management said it would take legal action against the free clinic in Icheon that injected Park after they assured him the substance was legal and added the hospital offered to give Park an injection, and he repeatedly asked if it contained any illegal substances. The management remarked we are trying with our team of legal experts to determine why the particular hospital injected Park with an illegal substance, and we’re preparing to hold it civilly and criminally liable. It was added that the doctor said there would be no problem and yet it turned out the injection contained a banned substance.

The 2008 Olympic 400m freestyle champ Park joined Sun Yang, China’s Olympic star, to fail a doping test. Leading Australian coach Michael Bohl expressed shock at the positive doping test for Park, his former swimmer. Both swimmers were associated with Australian coaches at the time of their failed tests but anti-doping tests took place in their homelands and there is no hint of any untoward activity in Australia. Park quit training under Bohl ending a four-year association after the Asian Games last September and has since started training in the USA under Dave Marsh and alongside US star Ryan Lochte.

Park would now have to attend a hearing with FINA, swimming’s world governing body, on February 27 to answer the doping charge.

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Friday 11, Apr 2014

  Adams Expected Life Ban For Ostapchuk

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Adams Expected Life Ban For Ostapchuk

Olympic shot put champion Valerie Adams is disappointed to learn that her former rival Nadzeya Ostapchuk from Belarus has received a doping ban of just four years and not a life ban, Valerie’s manager said.

Ostapchuk received a retrospective ban that ends on August 14, 2016, for testing positive for the banned steroid Metenolone after she beat Valerie for gold at the London Games in 2012. Ostapchuk was stripped of the London Olympics and 2005 World Championships gold medals.

Test samples provided by Ostapchuk at the 2005 World Athletics Championships also found traces of the anabolic steroids, Formestane and 4-hydroxytestosterone. Adams’ manager Nick Cowan said they believe the Belarusian should have been given a life ban for a second offence. The ban imposed on the Belarusian will virtually rule her out of the 2016 Olympics with the suspension coming to an end during the athletics competition in Rio.

Cowan told Radio New Zealand that our understanding is that Ostapchuk has tested positive twice for drugs and added you would normally expect that you could face a life ban. Cowan also remarked we to be honest were expecting for it to be a bit heftier than four years but it is what it is. Adams’ manager also remarked they were not made aware of the process or reasoning and learnt about the ban after the name of Ostapchuk appeared on the latest list of banned athletes issued by the world governing body International Association of Athletics Federations.

Athletics New Zealand expressed their surprise at the length of the ban imposed on Ostapchuk and said they would need to review the decision. In a statement, chairperson Annette Purvis said whilst Athletics New Zealand is not comfortable with a ban of only four years for two doping breaches, we need to understand the full decision and all aspects that relate to the decision and the four year ban. Purvis added our staff have been in contact with Valerie and her management, and remain in close communication with them on this issue. The ANZ chairperson said Athletics New Zealand expects to offer further comment once the sanction had been examined in more detail.

Valerie Kasanita Adams is a four-time World champion, three-time World Indoor champion, and a two-time Olympic and Commonwealth champion. Valerie recently won her third world indoor championship gold medal after coming back from ankle and knee surgery. The 29-year-old extended her winning sequence to 44 consecutive victories with a winning throw of 20.67m. She won the world indoor crown in Valencia in 2008 and Istanbul in 2012 and was the silver medalist in Doha in 2010. The four-time world outdoor champion produced her best effort of 20.67m at the world indoor athletics championships at the ERGO Arena in Sopot, Poland to complete one of the most consistent series of her glittering career.

Ostapchuk can compete again after completing her ban and reinstatement requirements prescribed by the International Association of Athletics Federations, which include the return of medals, repayment of any prize money, and passing four drug tests.

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