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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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Wednesday 03, Dec 2014

  Australia Bars Chinese Swimming Star

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Australia Bars Chinese Swimming Star

Sun Yang, the double Olympic champion and 1,500 meters world record-holder, has been barred from training in Australia. The Chinese swimming sensation’s coach is also expected to sever ties with Yang after he was banned for doping.

Swimming Australia high performance boss Michael Scott met Sun’s Australian coach Denis Cotterell and told him that the Chinese swimmer is no longer welcome to train in the country. Scott remarked he met Denis and Denis has advised the Chinese swimming federation that Sun Yang will not be allowed to train at Miami on the Gold Coast anymore or any of our podium centers as per our policy. Scott added the integrity of Australian swimming was paramount and also remarked that it was a very straight forward call, which Denis supported and has been acted upon already.

The Swimming Australia high performance chief also remarked Australia was tightening rules on foreign swimmers coming to the country and they would be required to register with the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority for out-of-competition testing. He went on to remark that they are required to pay us a rights fee which will include the cost of any drugs tests and also remarked obviously when things like this happen you review the situation and we’ve now determined that any foreign swimmer that we agree to come into one of our centers as a condition must list themselves with ASADA for drug testing out of competition.

The Brisbane Courier-Mail reported that Cotterell, one of Australia’s foremost swimming coaches, would sever all ties with Sun. Cotterell also coached Australia’s two-time Olympic 1,500m champion Grant Hackett, who held the 1,500m world record before it was eclipsed by Sun Yang.

The 22-year-old swimmer won four medals at the London 2012 Olympics, including gold in the 400m and 1500m freestyles. Yang also swept the 400m, 800m and 1500m frees at the 2013 World Championships.

Yang served a three-month doping ban after he tested positive for the banned stimulant Trimetazidine (Class S.6.b Specified Stimulant) on May 17 during the Chinese National Championships. Sun said he used the prescription drug Vasorel for “Angina pectoris”, a health condition in which pain is experienced in the chest because of an inadequate supply of oxygen to the heart muscle. The swimmer said he was unaware that the drug had Trimetazidine, a drug that was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s prohibited list this year. Sun could have been allowed by sport authorities to legally use the prescription drug if he had filed a therapeutic use exemption as it was for a medical condition. Sun Yang completed his ban on August 17 but details of his doping ban were revealed only last week by Chinese authorities.

The World Anti-Doping Agency is expected to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and said the World Anti-Doping Code requires drugs violations to be made public within 20 days. Athletes are generally slapped with two-year bans for a first breach of the code under the World Anti-Doping Agency’s current code. Bans will be doubled to four years from January 1, 2015.

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