5th June 2015

FINA investigating claims Park Tae Hwan trained while banned

The Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) has contacted the Korean Swimming Federation for an explanation, after reports emerged that Park Tae Hwan had resumed training whilst serving a doping ban. Reports and pictures emerged of Park training with his coach at an Olympic pool in Seoul, despite Park being subject to an 18-month FINA ban for doping. “Following the report issued by Yonhap News Agency, we have immediately contacted the Korea Swimming Federation for further information on this case”, a FINA spokesperson told the Sports Integrity Initiative.

FINA banned Park (pictured in March, after the Beijing 2008 400m freestyle gold medal winner tested positive for testosterone in an out-of-competition test on 3 September 2014. His ban expires on 2 March 2016, however if FINA decides to extend it, he could miss the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Park has already lost three bronze medals won at the 2014 Asian Games as a result of the ban, which he blamed on an injection given by a local hospital.

FINA denied reports that it had given Park permission to resume training, and clarified that Park is not allowed to resume training, and that he is still subject to a doping ban. ‘No Competitor or other Person who has been declared Ineligible may, during the period of Ineligibility, participate in any capacity in a Competition or activity (other than authorized anti-doping education or rehabilitation programs) authorized or organized by FINA, any FINA member organization, or a club or other member organization of a FINA member organization, or in Competitions authorized or organized by any professional league or any international or national level Competition organization’, reads FINA Doping Control rule 10.10.1. FINA confirmed that ‘activity’ also includes organised training. A comment to rule 10.10.1 also reads: ‘an ineligible Competitor cannot participate in a training camp, exhibition or practice organized by his or her Member Federation or a club which is a member of that Member Federation’.

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