According to several Asian news sources, South Korean swimming champion, Park Tae Hwan, currently under a doping suspension, will resume training at a public pool beginning on June 1st.
Since being slapped with an 18-month ban by FINA after previously testing positive for testosterone in the fall of 2014, Park had been looking to train with his former coach Roh Minsang at a public pool, but was waiting on that particular facility’s approval for Park to train there. Under FINA’s anti-doping policy, Park is restricted from training at any South Korean-government- or Korea Swimming Federation (KSF)-run facility. As the KSF does not bear any authority on the pool itself, the decision on whether or not to allow the suspended swimmer to set-up camp at the pool was left up to the facility, which it indeed approved.
Even though Park stated in his post-doping-ban press conference that, regarding training for the 2016 Olympics, “It’s not time to talk about future here”, his earnestness in returning to the pool in some capacity is at least a nod to the swimmer’s desire to continue down a possible Olympic path.
Park’s suspension spans until March 2, 2016, at which point he would again be eligible to train once again at the National Training Center in Seoul. But, even that milestone is not a guarantee, as the Korean Olympic Committee does have a rule in place that indicates “any athlete who serves a drug-related ban is barred from national teams for three years beginning on the day the suspension ends.” That rule is currently being considered, as this would be the first application of it, and it may or may not be a violation of the World Anti-Doping Code.
Also coming up in the month of June, is Park’s court date (June 4th) in which the Olympic silver medalist is scheduled to testify against the doctor he and his team are accusing of negligence in the administration of the injection containing testosterone.