Park Tae Hwan Is Officially Going To Rio

At the emergency meeting held today by the South Korean Olympic Committee (KOC) board of directors, it was decided that Park Tae Hwan will be allowed to compete at the 2016 Olympic Games.

After already having served an 18-month banned for testing positively for banned testosterone back in 2014, Olympic medalist Park was then subject to an additional 3-year suspension by the KOC. That additional ban on Korean doping offenders would have rendered Park out of the Rio Olympics.

However, after Park appealed to the Court Arbitration for Sport (CAS), sports highest court, the organization ruled in favor of Park, determining that the medalist is indeed eligible for this summer’s Games. The KOC then decided today to lift its own ban on Park, allowing the Olympic champion to represent South Korea in Rio.

Of the decision, Park’s lawyer stated, “It was belated, but it is still fortunate that he now can go to Rio.” (Yonhap)

An excerpt from the CAS statement can be read below, with the entire statement available here.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has upheld a request for provisional measures filed by the Korean swimmer Tae Hwan Park in the course of his arbitration procedure with the Korean Sport and Olympic Committee (KOC) and the Korea Swimming Federation (KSF). The decision issued by the President of the CAS Appeals Arbitration Division means that he is eligible to be selected to swim for the Korean team in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

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7 years ago

before saying anything, i agree that Park Tae Hwan did intake illegal drugs. Yes. But what matters after that, is did he intend on doing that? No. The Korean court concluded it saying that he is free of guilt. The doctor who did not fully inform Park about the medicine, even though he asked, was found guilty. As an athlete he has gone through all the punishments he had to, because regardless of his intentions that substance was detected from his blood. The official processes have to be respected, and Park has, respected them. Social stigmatization, on the other hand, should take into account his true intentions. I mean srsly, who doesn’t know that the doping test will eventually get… Read more »

8 years ago

Great to see that even the convicted cheats in the word are given another chance and even another chance
Make it pure and simple if you are proven guilty of doping a life time ban should be enforced
Not only do you cheat yourself you destroy clean athletes and their full potential not only in terms of achievements but also financially

8 years ago

I’m gonna have to standout here, I’ll be rooting for Park. He served his ban, went through some difficult times financially, and is one of the most “Looked-down-upon” athletes in Rio. He served his ban, learned the lesson from it, and had his fair share of setbacks during that ban. Tear it up guy.

8 years ago

Park was never EXEMPT from their punishment. Korean’s double standard was added AFTER Park was banned, which should not be applied to Park in the first place since his incidence happened before the rule was applied. Also, unlike to what you said, Korean athletic committee is the one who tried to keep Park from going to olympics. It was CAS who made the decisive decision for him to go and Korean committee accepted the decision

8 years ago

What a shocker….Not…..As if they were going to miss a medal chance. What’s the point of spending so much money on drug testing
and then not utilising the information that you get??? Doesn’t seem like a particularly fair situation for the kids that have to race him.
Everyone should try to remember the East German and Chinese womens team…Who cares if you take the medals away 20 years later….Its ALL about the moment.

Reply to  Pamela
8 years ago

“It’s all about the moment” is an interesting comment. That “moment” is permanently screwed fro everyone.

I would bet that most have lasting memories of how sensational the performance was of the most outrageous cheaters (Ben Johnson, Lance Armstrong) before we knew they were cheating (or before we stopped denying that we knew that they were cheating). Ben Johnson’s 100 meter dash — his blast from the starting blocks — was incredible. I saw Lance Armstrong cross the finish line at one of his Tour de France wins. The sad part is that you can take away the medals, but, as angry as one may get over PEDs, you can’t make someone else win those races in your memory.… Read more »

ct swim fan
8 years ago

Did anyone have any doubt? Why can’t South Korea just decline to send him? It wouldn’t seem that going to the Olympic Games is an unalienable right for anyone. Can someone enlighten me please.

Reply to  ct swim fan
8 years ago

Because having double standard is actually against the olympic rule from CAS. If they ignored CAS’ decision and just declinded to send him then it would convey the message of them not following the olympic committee’s rules, which every other countries follow

Myth Destroyer
Reply to  ct swim fan
8 years ago

Would USOC “just decline” to send their athlete if it were in the same situation?
It’s called lawsuit and all that entails. There’s your enlightenment.

8 years ago

Some of the comment prompted me to look up Jessica Hardy in SwimSwam and I found this article and quote:
“The International Olympic Committee has a rule that prevents athletes from competing in the next Olympics if they receive a doping ban in excess of 6-months.”

is that true? If so, should that been enough to stop a few swimmer from showing up in Rio already?

Years of Plain Suck
8 years ago

Looks like both Park Tae Hwan and Hillary Clinton had a good week.

Reply to  Years of Plain Suck
8 years ago

I hate it when politics gets brought into discussion in this web site. It plain sucks.

Years of Plain Suck
Reply to  DLswim
8 years ago

You think there is no politics involved in doping? You are quite naive. Why do you think the Soviets, East Germans, and the Chinese doped their athletes on a state-wide basis, if not to glorify their political systems, and to show that their social systems could produce the world’s best athletes.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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