Park Tae-Hwan Handed 18-Month Suspension; Will Return Before 2016 Olympics

The FINA Doping Panel has handed South Korean swimmer Tae Hwan Park an 18-month suspension as the result of a positive doping control test. That suspension has been back-dated to September 3rd, 2014, the date of his positive test, and Park will be eligible for competition again on March 3rd, 2016.

This means that the four-time individual Olympic medalist will be reinstated in time to compete at a fourth-straight Summer Olympic Games in Rio.

The positive test came two weeks prior to the beginning of the 2016 Asian Games, that were held in his home country and a pool that was named for him, and all results from that meet will be stripped. That means that he will lose a silver medal in the 100 free, and bronze medals in the 200 and 400 frees. South Korea will also lose its bronze medals in all three men’s relays.

The test came after the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, meaning that he will retain his gold medal in the 400 free from that meet.

When Park initially failed the test, he blamed it on an unknown injection that he received from a chiropractor.

Park still has the right to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

On September 3, 2014 the swimmer Tae Hwan Park (KOR) was tested positive to the substance Testosterone (Class S.1.1.b Endogenous Anabolic Androgenic Steroids) with the occasion of an out-of-competition doping control test conducted by FINA.

The full FINA news is below:

The FINA Doping Panel decided according to the FINA DC Rule 10.5.2 to impose on the athlete a period of eighteen (18) months’ ineligibility, starting on September 3, 2014 and ending at the conclusion of the March 2, 2016 for his first anti-doping rule violation.

Furthermore, the FINA Doping Panel decided that all results achieved by the swimmer on or after September 3, 2014 shall be annulled together with the consequences thereof (forfeiture of medals/prizes, reimbursement of prize money).

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
true athlete
6 years ago

this just goes to show that if you cheat then you get what you deserve. congrats park, youre a dirty cheater and all of your races are now tarnished. too bad those drugs dont help you learn how to properly start

Reply to  true athlete
6 years ago

You must be Sun Yang

Reply to  Markster
6 years ago

No, he must be Elvis Burrows

Reply to  Emmaeileen
6 years ago

nah, he must be american.

Elvis Burrows
Reply to  Emmaeileen
6 years ago

Actually, I’M Elvis Burrows….

Ole 99
6 years ago

I’m reminded of the ’80s SNL sketch about the steroid olympics.

6 years ago

I knew they were going to suspend him but I did not think it was going to be for 18 months

Reply to  Manyi Eta-Okang
6 years ago

He might even retire, I don´t think he will be back on Rio.

Korean federation usually gives a 3 year extra suspension for the athete after his official suspenstion period.. If they follow this, he would only be back on 2019.

Reply to  Rafael
6 years ago

The same Korean federation that met with Park recently to discuss strategies to enable him to compete in the Rio Olympics?

6 years ago

That will be overturned and he will be reinstated on appeal. Now because he didn’t do it, but because FINA (and FIFA, and FIBA, and FOOFOO, etc…) are all corrupt organizations.

6 years ago

Getting tired of these suspensions that end just before the big meet

Mikal W Grass
6 years ago

Eighteen months is a big hit but it means nothing if he can still train and compete in the Olympics. in 2016. I guess FINA didn’t believe the chiropractor when he “fell on his sword” and took the blame for Park’s drug use. My guess is that Park and the chiropractor had an ongoing relationship and that it just escalated after not having been caught for sometime. They both tempted fate and both lost. I wonder what will happen with the chiropractor, whether he will lose his license, serve time in jail, or maybe worse.

My theory for what is worth is this: Sun probably juiced to beat Park, and then Park juiced to beat Sun after Sun began to… Read more »

Joel Lin
6 years ago

I am usually the one stepping in as the athlete’s advocate, but this one leaves me puzzled. How is this offense different from a Russian open water swimmer getting 2 years? That other guy immediately retired because his suspension carried over the Olympics, yet Park will get afforded a windowing effect to permit him to serve what I cynically consider a 4 more month ban. He can’t swim at Words this summer is all of consequence here.

When FINA considers these things, what needs to have some weight is the major competitions count: Worlds and Olympics. If an athlete timed it well enough to get caught very soon after Worlds in 2017, a two year ban may not even… Read more »

mikal W Grass
Reply to  Joel Lin
6 years ago

The suspension is dated from the date of the dirty test not the date of the hearing, if I understand the rules correctly. As with other things in life, it is all timing.

6 years ago

How many months can one be suspended before they can’t compete in next olympics? isnt it like 6 months?

Reply to  Braden Keith
6 years ago

Thanks B. You a boss

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder 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, …

Read More »