Korean Olympian Park Tae-hwan will be in action at his first international meet since serving his 18-month ban for having tested positively for a prohibited substance back in 2014. He is slated to compete at Australia’s final elite meet prior to the 2016 Olympic Games, the Swimming Australia Grand Prix held July 1st-2nd at Brisbane Aquatic Centre.
Park had competed at his nation’s Olympic Trials in April where the 26-year-old swept the men’s freestyle events, claiming gold in the 100/200/400/1500m events. His 200m and 400m freestyle delivered times that remain in the top 5 marks in the world this season. Park is scheduled to swim the 100m, 200m and 400m freestyles at the Grand Prix.
When the Korean roster was released last month, Park was absent, a product of an additional ban by the Korean Olympic Committee (KOC). The additional punishment states that any athlete having served a doping suspension is refrained from competing on a Korean National team for 3 years, beginning on the day their suspension ends.
In May of this year we reported how Park filed an appeal with the international Court for Arbitration of Sport (CAS) over his Olympic suspension. Park has also now reportedly filed for a court injunction to force the KOC to follow the CAS ruling in favor of the swimmer.
Said Sean Lim, an attorney at the firm representing the swimmer, “Park is filing for injunction in Eastern Seoul district court today right after the briefing,” Lim said. “This is to prepare for the situation where the KOC refuses to comply with the CAS decision.”
Lim says that they expect CAS to make a ruling by July 5. Federations have until July 18th to confirm their Olympic rosters.
Park won silver in the 200m freestyle at the 2008 Olympic Games, and followed that up with another 200m silver and the same result in the 400m free at the 2012 Games in London.