After being handed an 18-month suspension by the FINA Doping Panel stemming from a positive doping test back in September 2014, South Korean swimmer Park Tae Hwan and his camp have issued an official apology.
The brief statement reported on supersport.com reads, “Park Tae-hwan and his agency would like to sincerely apologise for the positive drug test result and for disappointing those who continue to support Park.”
Park would be eligible for competition again on March 3rd, 2016, which, in theory, would enable the four-time individual Olympic medalist to compete at the 2016 Rio Olympics. However, there is what seems to be a subjective domestic rule within the Korean Swimming Federation’s constitution, which tacks on an additional 3-year suspension for a national athlete to begin at the end of the FINA-mandated disciplinary period.
On the likelihood of that rule being applied in this particular case, Korean Olympic Committee spokesperson Park Dong-Hee says, “Once the 18-month disciplinary period is over, and if (Park’s) participation in the Rio Olympics becomes a social issue, it will be possible to review the revision of athlete selection rules from the perspective of what is best for national interest.”