On the heels of the release of the initial roster of South Korean swimmers set to compete at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, the nation’s once mega-star, Park Tae Hwan, is now begging to be included. At a meeting with the Korean Olympic Committee (KOC) today, Park got down on his knees begging for an opportunity to race for South Korea at this summer’s Games in Rio.
Although on March 2nd Park completed his 18-month FINA-imposed ban for having tested positively for steroids back in 2014, he is now serving a punitive ban by the KOC. The ban entails having to wait 3 more years before being selected for a national team, per the punitive KOC.
Park recently competed at the South Korean Olympic Trials, where he earned golds across the 100m/200m/400m/1500m freestyle events, swimming faster than the FINA “A” Olympic Qualifying standards in each.
Speaking to the KOC, Park said, “As a swimmer, I feel it is most important to speak through records and results in the pool. I hope I am given a chance so that I can deliver a good performance for the people and contribute to the nation.”
Some speculate there is still a chance the KOC may relax its rule, with critics calling it a double punishment for the same offense. However, last month, the KOC said it was “not appropriate to amend national team selection regulations for a specific person.”