Park Tae-hwan Blocked From Rio Racing As Korea Sticks To 3-Year Domestic Ban

Park Tae Hwan faced the media at his public apology in Seoul [TV still] last year
Park Tae Hwan faced the media at his public apology in Seoul [TV still] last year

The South Korean Olympic Committee has blocked 2008 Olympic 400m freestyle champion Park Tae-hwan from competing at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this August even though his suspension period for a positive test ended in March.

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Comments

aswimfan

Good for South Korean Olympics Committee.

Meanwhile, Sun Yang was able to swim in Kazan and even won FINA swimmer of the championships. And god knows how many clenbuterol swimmers China will bring to Rio.

Personal Best

Ain’t it sad, aswimfan?

That was my first thought… ok, kind of good… but just him?!

Blah Blah

Personally, I’m not happy I won’t get to see medal contenders in Rio.

Craig Lord

Sport needs to rid itself of the doping scourge, blah blah – and that won’t be done with soft attitude and tolerance, however sympathetic to Park anyone may feel. The bigger issue is the leniency handed out to others and the inconsistency of treatment between athletes and nations.

aswimfan

Blah Blah,

Maybe IFNA should create alternative Pharma-induced championships with event such as 4x100m medley:
lead off: clenbuterol swimmer
2nd leg: meldnonium or trimetazidine swimmer
3rd leg: HGH/gene doping swimmer
4th leg: steroid swimmer

Craig Lord

Quite so, aswimfan – I’d let them them report it all, too – about the standard of coverage they’d all deserve 🙂

AvantSwim

It is a pleasant surprise to see a Fed step up like this. However, the penalty does seem draconian in comparison to those doled out by many less diligent Feds–as CL points out above.

Ultimately, this inconsistency highlights the need for standardized international penalties, ones that also reflect the relative severity of offense. (From my understanding of doping, a five-year ban for a testosterone offense seems out of proportion, compared to a three month penalty for metabolic steroids.)

Time, once again, for FINA to step up and show some leadership: to instigate a major evolution in policy and governance that combines unrelenting testing protocols, retroactive testing, severe and consistent punitive measures (including criminal charges, IMHO), independent labs, and transparent proceedings.

Until then, I agree with Craig: Park, like all offenders, has no one to blame but himself.

AvantSwim

*anabolic steriods

Dan smith

the penalty seems harsh. 3 years ban.
anyone knows the psychological effects of long term bans. Suicide??
Anyway I wonder what the Japanese will do to any athlete they catch doping .
if south korea can be this harsh imagine the japanese. Japan has never had any athlete, at least an Olympic athletes test positive for any illegal substance. Quite a record I would say. So any athlete bringing shame to them by tainting that record can expect some crazy stuff. A lifetime ban plus jail time and big fines, taking things up a notch. Bring financial ruin to the doper. Japanese style?

Dan smith

Dam I hit the wrong emoticon. Never mind.

Craig Lord

Dan, I don’t think suicide works quite like that – propensity. You can’t base Law (rules in this case) on such things. I think lifetime bans for second-time offenders perfectly fair. And those who test positive for the highest category of offence should get an automatic 4 years, covering an Olympic cycle. That message needs to be sent good and clear in a world where too many are wedded to the culture of excusing themselves for cheating because ‘that’s what sport is about’ and ‘others are doing it too’. 3 years is pretty steep, I agree, but I guess it is there to reinforce the ‘no Olympic Games for you the next time round if you fall foul’ – So in Park’s case, 6 months would have done it. I agree with the idea of financial penalty, based on earnings. An athlete who claimed a million in prizes, for example, would have to hand it all back.

Blah Blah

Dan Smith, In Japan steroids are legal and there have been tons of steroid scandals or outright ignorance of steroid use in other sports (Sumo, and MMA respectively). So don’t get your hopes up strict punishments for dopers, or even anyone getting caught ever.

Craig Lord

Blah Blah – steroids are not legal in swimming in Japan or anywhere else… and they are regularly tested, so please don’t try to give the impression that swimming is somehow a part of the picture you paint in Japan: there is absolutely no evidence of that, as well you know.

jeman

I in no way condone cheating. However, it is pie-in-the-sky thinking that you will ever completely rid the sport of cheaters. From riding in cars during the marathon, to rigging a fencing epee, to a man posing as a woman, to all the drug issues of the past 40+ years, it will never go away. And in my opinion, it has only worsened since the switch from a primarily amateur competition to that of essentially professionals who can make millions of $. There has to be a different answer than what is going on now. We will continue to spend tons of $ on these issues as well as human resources and the athletes and coaches will simply try something else. I don’t know what the answer is, but the road we are on now is unsustainable.

aswimfan

trying to mix up swimming with sumo and MMA elicited a good chuckle from me.

Blah Blah

Craig, keep thinking passing a test = clean. Reality has shown otherwise countless times. Regardless, I’m not implying Japan is doing anything underhanded, only that Dan Smith’s choice of Japan as a country that would deal most harshly with dopers probably isn’t a good one.

Craig Lord

Blah, blah, thinking past a test: I’ve written it lots and lots of times and that is how I approach the argument BUT it cannot be avoided that there are some nations that test their swimmers far more often than others and insist on good culture on that score (and I don’t care who argues that’s not the case – there are clear differences in approach – and they are not necessarily national; cheats and honest folk exists anywhere you care to go). Your last point may be as good as saying the same for any nation but how you explained it was not. I would imagine Dan’s point is based on the fact that no-one from JPN ever tested positive – and in swimming I would agree with him that if one ever were to, I think we may well see a harder not a softer line. I would imagine it hard to believe they would seek to impose no penalty and hide the whole thing from FINA/WADA etc.

Craig Lord

As is doping but it goes on jeman – whatever the solution is, it is not to go softer – the penalty should be removal from sport for the highest level of offence. It is a privilege to be a member of the Olympic/world sport elite community. That privilege should be denied to those who break the house rules in a way that directly harms their fellow members.

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