FINA Seeks Korean Clarification On Reports That Park Tae Hwan Training During Ban

Park Tae-hwan [Photo: Patrick B. Kraemer]

FINA, the international federation, has sought clarification from the Korean swimming federation, in the wake of reports that Park Tae-hwan had been given permission to train with his former coach at an Olympic pool in Seoul eight months into an 18-month anti-doping suspension

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FINA, the international federation, has sought clarification from the Korean swimming federation, in the wake of reports that Park Tae-hwan had been given permission to train with his former coach at an Olympic pool in Seoul eight months into an 18-month anti-doping suspension

Comments

Yozhik

Mr. Lord, I am novice to all these FINA issues and was pretty much naïve about international sport management until I started reading your articles and heard news about FIFA executives.
If it is an appropriate place and if you have a time by being extremely busy person can you please explain in simple way without redirecting me to the legal documents the core of the problem?
Questions:
1. When it is said that “Park trained last Monday after having been given permission to do so by the international federation. “ then what is it “international federation” in this case? Is it entire government body including National Federations or just bureau or just president or some special FINA congress? What is it? Who gave the permission? Is there any document that support this permission?
2. Is the anti-doping ardency part of FINA? If it is so then what is the power of decisions made by this ardency? Are they mandatory, or they are only suggestions to some executive body for consideration?
3. FINA is a business organizations that is regulated by some rules. What is the responsibility of FINA administrators if they violate such rules?
4. Is it any responsibility of whoever is responsible for the “negligence” (just not noticing violations) like in case with Sun Yung and Yulia Efimova.
5. Is there any such thing like Executive clemency? Is it what has been executed in case with Park Tae-hwan. If it is so then what’s problem?
I am really got confused. If rules a broken then what is the problem with punishment of those who are responsible.
If the rule are not broken then please explain the appearance of this set of articles.

Thank you.
p.s. If simple answers to my questions cannot be done without risk of doing something that can be legally disputed then disregard my comments.

Craig Lord

Yozhik:

1. That is the question I ask and FINA is seeking clarification on: it would appear that someone has interpreted the rules in a liberal manner and may thus have risked a second offence under the WADA Code and FINA rules
2. WADA is the body that sets the rules and oversees anti-doping; FINA is a signatory, its obligation to enforce those rules. The Code is not a set of guidelines, it is a set of rules to be followed (though there are guidelines within the rules to be used in the judgement of cases pertaining to circumstance come hearing and/or appeal)
3. There are codes of practice and an ethics code; there are rules that govern the governors, so to speak. They have very, very, very rarely been applied in the 100-plus years of swimming history; and often applied to athletes during that time. The responsibilities you can read by buying a FINA handbook or looking up the rules on the fina website free of charge.
4. Yes, as stated in several articles, the coach, affiliated program is responsible for upholding the WADA Code and FINA rules and can be penalised if they don’t. For example, if evidence is brought that suspended swimmer A was seen to train throughout a ban, that swimmer and those who worked with him/her can be suspended under the rules.
5. No.
The only problems related to enforcing the rules are a. will; b, the willingness of people working in the sport to pick the red phone up and call foul when they see a big podium placer banned but still training in their midst, starting with coaches who need to understand the rules on eligibility far better than they appear to do in some cases.
The appearance of any articles on this site is because I decide as editor what is worth covering and worth our time and energy in a world of many other commitments beyond the water and unrelated to our work here. This is an important issue, one which, just looking at my mailbox, upsets a lot of swimmers and coaches out there who feel that the rules on eligibility are not being adhered to.

Yozhik

Thanks. There are plenty things to discuss. For instance where the root of the problems are and would the replacement of current administration by another one change anything in how things are going on now etc, etc etc. But since nobody else get involved in this discussion I incline to think that I am the only one with childish level of understanding of inner working of real business and what the ruling forces are.

Paul Andrew

Slightly off-topic Craig, but I presume you caught the BBC panorama documentary ‘Catch me if you can’?

For me the most startling allegation was of Salazar using the testosterone gel in micro doses to gauge the detectable threshold. According to the source

Perhaps, something similar going on here with Park? We can but speculate.

Craig Lord

Fascinating stuff, Paul Andrew. It certainly confirms one of the places of weakness in the testing system.

Yozhik

It is indeed very fascinating and inspiring 🙁 as well. The following is a real story of some ordinary American guy. He was a varsity swimmer at school and at his senior year was good enough to make to the state meet at 100 breast. He didn’t win but he got a scholarship at college. At first week in college his couch told him that if he wanted to stay with team he should be faster and recommended him to seek advice from his teammates. In two months he was 3.5 sec faster at 100y. He was never tested because he was not still a top swimmer but he was a good contributor to team success. He graduated from the college without problems and retired from the swimming immediately. How simple it is to “help yourself” just a little bit, and after that more and more with the prize getting higher.

Craig Lord

Thanks for the link, Yozhik’: well worth everyone watching … ‘fresh as a daisy’ during heaving training … that tells us an awful lot. This shows that the athletes’ passport is not working as it should – you can bypass the system, as suspected … which, sadly, is why the common defence ‘but I’ve been tested X times’ is no defence when accusations are made.
Nike mention very disturbing. Interesting to see what the outcome is in terms of what USOC will do with the information it has been given.
‘almost child abuse’… quite so. … and interesting to see where this goes at USADA, now we know what they know.
All of which is why the following is something WADA ought to be paying far more attention to:
http://www.swimvortex.com/effective-front-line-anti-doping-test-costs-cents-so-whats-wada-waiting-for/
And all of that discussion is going on and has been going on for quite some time because of the conclusion the investigator in the panorama program reaches, one that comes, sadly, as no surprise.

Josh

That was a fascinating documentary. If a complete naif can master microdoping and beat the drug passport program, what can an athlete with a sports science team behind them get away with? I would have also been curious to have seen him retest his strength and Vo2 max numbers after stopping the drugs so that we can see how much if any of the gains remain weeks later after completely cycling off of the EPO.

Yozhik

Josh, you curiosity sounds suspicious 🙂 Make an online search and you will find plenty of answers to your question.

Yozhik

It is nice talking to you Craig Lord 🙂 I thought it would be a tsunami of opinions and comments. Nope. “All Quiet on the Western Front”. Anyway, this topic returns me back to your six points declaration stated at http://www.swimvortex.com/of-pointing-fingers-1976-tears-how-fina-is-not-alone-in-letting-sleeping-gdr-dogs-lie/
If put your points in reverse order it will be the most clearly stated program of actions and targets I’ve ever seen at this site. But rereading it again I hear “Couch”, “Couch”, “Couch” … at each point. Who is the closest person to the swimmer? Who knows him/her best and can immediately detect unexplained changes, who is “like a father” to many of them? Who determines the culture and moral values within the team? Who is most knowledgeable person in performance drug usage and knows more than others where the red line of this very wide gray area is? And who at the end is a channel of providing or even requiring banned substances and procedures? Coaches like a liver and kidneys of the body of sport. If they don’t function properly then the body will be poison and slagged. But at the same time it is the most vulnerable part of the system staying between administrators who are paying and demanding and swimmers with their whims, evaluations and rights to select or reject.

Craig Lord

All points I’ve made on many occasions, Yozhik. I edited out your assertion of the conditions in which the article in question was written – you can’t possible know that (and you were wrong 🙂

Yozhik

I didn’t mean your article. It was done in your response to JimC. However, the questions raised and statement made with your comment deserve to be an article. But be careful of the right moment. It can go unnoticed same way as it happened to that and this discussions. I am positive that you put a lot of thoughts in what you wrote and such long response cannot be improvised and done from the scratch. But because your reaction in that case was very fast I took a liberty to make my comments a little bit more colorful with supposition about your emotional state. You are right I have no idea about the conditions and details of your creative process. You can remove my exaggerations if you think they don’t make you look better 🙂
Also, please be more tolerable toward me. I haven’t been on this site on many occasions and may miss something that was already said. It would be nice if you provide me with links if such points were concentrated in one place that can be referred to. For those who’s been here on many occasions it would be a good reminder as well. It is so important that is worth to be read one more time. Thank you.

Craig Lord

Yozhik, I don’t care how they make me look – I just don’t have time to sit and work through it like some kind of puzzle 🙂 Not a question of tolerance but time. There will soon be a facility to search links for yourself, which may address the matter you raise and make cross-referencing easier for those who wish to do so. Meanwhile, if something concerns me enough but I don’t have time to sit and ponder the puzzle then I will apply the subbing mantra: if in doubt, take it out 🙂

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