Park still hoping to compete in OlympicsKorea Swimming Federation chief Lee Ki-heung said on Wednesday that swimmer Park Tae-hwan, who received an 18-month ban after testing positive for testosterone, still plans to participate in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Lee returned to Korea on Tuesday after attending a doping hearing at the headquarters of FINA, the international swimming governing body, in Lausanne, Switzerland on Monday. FINA banned Park retroactively starting Sept. 3, 2014.
“Park is thinking that if he participates in the Olympics and performs well, he can recover his tainted image,” Lee told local reporters at the Incheon International Airport.
In FINA’s decision, Lee said Park’s contribution to the world swimming community was acknowledged and said he thought the group had allowed Park the opportunity to continue his career.
As for the Korea Olympic Committee rule stating that an athlete who has been suspended for a positive drug test can’t be named to a national team for three years from the day the suspension ends, Lee said it’s not the right time to discuss revising the rule. He said that Park’s sincere apology and thorough self-reflection should come first.
BY JOO KYUNG-DON