SwimSwam Pulse: 60% Support Park Tae-hwan’s 2016 Olympic Bid

SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.

Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers to weigh in on whether South Korea’s Park Tae-hwan should be allowed to compete in this summer’s Olympics:


Should Park Tae-hwan be allowed to compete at the 2016 Summer Olympics?

  • Yes – 60.2%
  • No – 39.8%

Park’s case is a unique one. The four-time Olympic medalist tested positive for illegally high levels of testosterone in the fall of 2014, now almost two years ago. His FINA suspension was 18 months, bringing him back into Olympic eligibility as of this spring.

But Korea has a stricter policy for its national teamers, typically requiring any athlete who fails a doping test to sit out for three full years from national team competition after returning from their ban. That’s a very strict policy compared to other nations – the International Olympic Committee (IOC) tried to put a similar policy in place worldwide in 2008, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that the policy violated IOC statutes.

Park was originally ruled out of the 2016 Olympics when the Korean Olympic Committee said it wouldn’t amend the rule for him.

But he was allowed to compete at Korean nationals last month, and swam well. He met with the Korean Olympic Committee earlier this month, literally begging to be allowed to compete.

Almost 800 of 1325 poll respondents voted in favor of letting Korea’s Park compete in Rio, believing that he’s served his sentence under international rules. The argument in favor of Park is that athletes of no other nationality would be banned for the same length in his case; the Korean Olympic Committee rule is the only factor keeping him ineligible for Rio.

On the other hand, about 40% of poll voters supported Korea’s current stance. Breaking the rule for Park could certainly create the impression that the Korean Olympic Committee was compromising its strong anti-doping stance for the sake of Olympic medals.

Park won gold in the 400 free in 2008 along with a silver in the 200 free, plus silvers in both events in 2012. He is Korea’s first-ever swimmer to win an Olympic medal of any color.


Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Pollwhich asks what type of preparation Katie Ledecky should take for the U.S. Olympic Trials:

Should Katie Ledecky do a full taper for US Olympic Trials?

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A3 Performance, Legend


A3 Performance was founded in 2004 and is based in Wisconsin. A3 Performance was founded on the ideals that great products could be made and offered at great prices. Innovation and purpose is the focus of all product development. The swimmer is the focus of everything we do.

The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner

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jay ryan

Once a doper always a doper. Cheaters should stay home.

bobo gigi

100% agree with you.

Steve Nolan

Surprising. I’d have guessed a majority would’ve voted for the death penalty, had it been an option.

Tea Rex

10 years in a North Korean labor camp!

Tom from Chicago

I’m not sure this isn’t a self-selecting group. I think the bleeding hearts that feel for Park Tae Hwan don’t think about the impact on the innocent athletes.

Doping is not a victimless crime. Think of the innocent athletes lthat don’t get an Olympic or World Championship medal because a cheater got it.

It disgusts me that anyone thinks a cheater should be allowed to compete. I still think these results may not truly represent swim fans or even swimswam readers. These internet polls are easy to skew.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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