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.
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.
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