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Wednesday 03, Jun 2015

  Park Tae-Hwan Can Train During Ban, Says FINA

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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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Tuesday 31, Mar 2015

  Former Olympic Swimming Champion Apologizes For Doping Ban

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Former Olympic Swimming Champion Apologizes For Doping Ban

South Korean swimmer Park Tae-hwan has offered an impassioned public apology, a few days after he received a doping ban of 18 months from FINA, the world governing body of swimming, for failing a doping test.

The swimmer expressly took complete responsibility for at least putting himself in an awkward position that allowed this situation to happen. Park stated he felt something must have been wrong when he first learned of the test result and added but then he realized that he should have been more careful. The South Korean swimmer said he thinks it is his fault regardless of reasons or processes that things have come to this point. Park Tae-hwan remarked he is sorry for having disappointed his fans and the South Korean people and added that he would like to apologize to the people for causing so much trouble with this unacceptable incident.

In a press conference at the Jamsil Tourist Hotel in Seoul, Park Tae-hwan in trembling voice said all of his honors over the past 10 years have come to nothing and added that all of his efforts just made him a junkie. The swimmer, popularly known as the “Marine Boy“, said since doping is something he has been aware of every day since the 2004 Olympics and added he could neither believe nor accept that this had happened. He went on to remark that aside from the question of intentionality, the very fact that an athlete who represents his country has caused a scandal is shameful and he deeply regrets what he had done.

It was previously claimed by the agency of Park that the positive drug test was due to an injection administered by a local hospital that provided him free chiropractic and other treatments in July.

The former Olympic swimming champion, who won the only ever swimming gold for South Korea in the 400 meters freestyle at the 2008 Beijing Games, tested positive for Testosterone in an out-of-competition drug test on September 3. The 18-month doping ban began retroactively the day of the positive test in early September and will expire on March 2, 2016. The results of Park after September 3, 2014 have been annulled and he would return the three bronze medals he won at last year’s Asian Games in Incheon, Korea.

The Olympic body of South Korea is presently contemplating easing its eligibility rules for athletes entering international competitions that would allow Park Tae-hwan a chance at qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. Under present anti-doping rules of the country, any athlete suspended for doping is barred from competing with the national team for a period of three years.

In another development, FINA announced that it collected 1,121 doping samples in the year 2014 including the one that caught Park Tae-hwan. FINA said 894 were “Unannounced Out-of-Competition,” while 773 were “In Competition” and these anti-doping tests were in addition to those conducted by other organizations with anti-doping rules, including national Anti-Doping organizations, and the NCAA.

World Record holder Sun Yang, who tested positive for a banned substance in 2014, was tested only three times by FINA while Americans Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps each underwent 4 tests. Yang was banned by the China Anti-Doping Agency after he tested positive for a banned stimulant Trimetazidine. In 2012, Sun Yang became the first Chinese male swimmer to win Olympic gold when took gold in the 400m and 1,500m freestyle events at London 2012.

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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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