Ruled Out Of Rio, Park Tae Hwan May Still Compete At Korean Trials

On the heels of our report last week that Korean Olympic gold medalist Park Tae Hwan was deemed ineligible to compete at the 2016 Olympic Trials, Asian sources indicate that Park may still partake in his nation’s Olympic Trials.

Park was slapped with an 18-month ban by FINA after previously testing positive for testosterone in the fall of 2014 and his suspension was lifted as of March 2nd of this year. However, the Korean Olympic Committee (KOC) has an additional punitive rule in place that requires “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 went into effect also as of March 2nd, thus rendering Park ineligible for the Rio Olympic Games.

According to Yonhap, Park remains undecided on whether or not to race at the South Korean trials, knowing the results will be meaningless from a qualification standpoint. The meet in Gwangju starts on April 25th and Park is entered in the 100m/200m/400m/1500m freestyle races.

The competition will double as the second round of the national team trials for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

“Park hasn’t decided if he will swim at the national team trials, even as he continues to train in Australia,” said an official from Team GMP, Park’s Seoul-based management firm. “We’re waiting for him to make the call.”

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Joel Lin

Anyone want to bet me that South Korea isn’t just posturing for the moment and that Park will swim in Rio?

This just smells like the last leg of a public relation mending process. He’s be reinstated and will swim at the Olympics. I believe in angels and unicorns are real before I believe this.

Joel Lin – I think there’s probably a better-than-average chance that this happens, if only because precedent says it will. What I’m referring to is when the IOC tried to institute a “next Olympics” ban for everyone suspended for doping for longer than 6 months for a doping violation. This was before London. The Court of Arbitration for Sport said that this was in violation of the World Anti-Doping Code that the IOC, along with the Korean Federation, are signatories to, because if the suspension was expired, there was no clause in the WADC to withhold the athletes from further competition. That’s not exactly the same situation, because the IOC is the Olympic governing body that they were trying to… Read more »


I have seen on the St Peters Western swim club website in Australia, home of Mitch Larkin, Emma Mckeon etc. has taken Park Tae Hwan into their club to train him. Why would they do such a thing that could tarnish the club’s reputation, putting their ‘clean’ status into question. Isn’t it an Australian policy to not allow athletes convicted of using PEDs to even swim with Aus clubs?

Naughty natty

Thats because the St Peters Coach has just signed a contract and will be coaching the Chinese after Rio Olympics


Park is Korean not Chinese so…..

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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