A few additional pieces of the doping case puzzle involving South Korean Olympic swimmer Park Tae hwan have come to light this week across Asian news publications, although the specific details of the situation still seem to be quite elusive. As we reported, last weekend, Park met with members of the Korean Swimming Federation (KSF) and the Korean Olympic Committee (KOC) to discuss strategies regarding helping Park avoid a doping ban that could cost him his eligibility for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Now on February 6th in Korea, Yonhap News Agency says that the doctor involved in giving Park the testosterone-infused injection, has been indicted on charges of professional negligence. The Central District Prosecutors’ Office said that the doctor “administered the injection ‘nebido’ containing testosterone last July without fully disclosing the risks and side effects to the swimmer.”
Prosecutors believe that the doctor in question also was unaware of testosterone’s being a banned substance and cite precedents in South Korea and Japan where the doctor has a “professional obligation to confirm the contents and risks of all drugs prescribed to patients.” Prosecutors even went so far as to say that the modification of Park‘s hormone levels rendered by the injection constituted “bodily harm.”
According to the Korean Swimming Federation (KSF), “A” and “B” urine samples from Park were taken in early September and the Olympic medalist was informed of his positive result of the “A” sample at the end of last October. Park then asked for analysis of the “B” sample as well, which after being tested for three days at a WADA-accredited lab in Montreal starting December 2nd, also came back positive for a testosterone.
Also this week, news publication, The Chosun Ilbo, revealed that Park has submitted to the prosecution a tape recording of conversations he had with the head of the clinic which was responsible for the testosterone injection. The article states that the doctor was unaware that Park had recorded their conversations, while swimmer claims he taped their conversations in the presence of a lawyer last year.
Park’s camp is said to provide official comment after his February 27th FINA hearing in Lausanne, Switzerland. The KSF confirms Park has enlisted a Switzerland-based lawyer, yet to be identified, to assist with the case.