Park Tae Hwan Files for Mediation with CAS Over Olympic Suspension

Olympic gold medalist Park Tae-hwan has filed an appeal with the international Court for Arbitration of Sport (CAS) over his Olympic suspension, according to his management.

Park has appealed the decision of the Korean Sport Olympic Committee (KSOC) to bar him from competing in the 2016 Olympic Games, even though his 18-month suspension for a positive doping test in 2014 has expired.

“Park asked CAS for mediation, and CAS notified the KSOC and the swimming federation that such a request came in,” according to a KSOC spokesperson.

The appeal involves a KSOC rule that forbids athletes from competing for any national team for 3 years after a doping suspension.

While his management didn’t specifically state the grounds for the appeal, they will likely appeal on similar grounds to a 2011 appeal by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). At the time, the USOC was appealing on behalf of track athlete LaShawn Merritt and fighting a rule by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that would prevent any athlete with a doping ban of longer than 6 months to compete at the next Olympic Games.

The CAS at the time ruled that this new ‘Rule 45″ put in place by the IOC amounted to double sanction by punishing an athlete twice for one violation. While at the time the CAS commented that their objection wasn’t one on philosophical grounds, but rather that by the rules of the World Anti-Doping Code (which both the USOC and IOC signed), a second punishment was not allowed. It was suggested that the IOC instead of adding Rule 45 to its own charter instead make a push to have the World Anti-Doping Code amended.

No such amendment has come into effect since.

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Super Richie
6 years ago

Let Park swim! Sad he did this but he has been through so much false starts at 16 and then again at Pan Pacs (i think) at 18. He always makes the race interesting!

6 years ago

Great move finally, hope he wins.

Joel Lin
6 years ago

Could Park swim as a sovereign refugee like some of the Russian athletes who defected but aren’t competing as citizens of another nation? Seems like one way or the next he’ll be swimming in Rio.

Victor P
6 years ago

I hope the KSOC stands firm. It will only strengthen the integrity of the sport & nation. Shame on the USOC for looking for loopholes. Time to clamp down.

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Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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