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.”