Tearful Park Tae-Hwan Apologises But Says ‘I Never Once Thought About Using Drugs’

A tearful Park Tae-hwan issues a public apology but denies any thoughts of cheating

Korean swimmer Park Tae-hwan has issued a tearful public apology at a press conference in Seoul after his 18-month suspension for failing an anti-doping test in September last year: “I’ve worn the Korean flag since I was 15 and in all that time I never once thought about using drugs”; Aussie swimmers lodge official protest

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Korean swimmer Park Tae-hwan has issued a tearful public apology at a press conference in Seoul after his 18-month suspension for failing an anti-doping test in September last year: “I’ve worn the Korean flag since I was 15 and in all that time I never once thought about using drugs”; Aussie swimmers lodge official protest

Comments

aswimfan

If he were innocent, he wouldn’t have cried, he should have been angry and mad.

Craig Lord

No-one who tests positive is innocent, one way or the other aswimfan but I think angry and mad is not something those around him organising the press conference would have advised him to be on the day. I suspect at some stage he has indeed gone through mad and angry. Tears can be interpreted in many ways, of course.

aswimfan

True. I forgot about the power of PR and media.

Felixtzu

In the abstract everyone understands the need for the principle of ultimate responsibility for what is in your system.

When it comes to the crunch…

Craig Lord

Yes, indeed. The truth is often a crunch, Felixtzu. Strict liability is one of the key tick boxes in the life of a senior, experienced athlete. When I read through the Efimova judgment in full, the questions flowed and trust was sorely tested. A program with a coach with a mantra of ‘no supplements’; a swimmers with a coach like that there and a father by her side in California; a swimmer of her level of experience … and she walks into a local ph store and buys a product that is labelled with a banned substance, takes it and then says … oops, I had no idea. That is why strict liability is there … and the crunch was the action of a swimmer who ignored every bit of advice, steer and message that has been around her for a long time … I know Dr Vorontsov, former head coach to Russia – and I know he would have enforced that msg many times over during his time in touch with Russia team members. Whether it all beggars belief or not, strict liability applied for very good reason – and the swimmer was let off very lightly indeed, in my view … and, apparently, the view of the Australian Swimmers Association… I would imagine they are not alone among athletes who find themselves competing against those who have served a ban deeply unpalatable. Under the 2015 WADA Code, of course, string chance that Efimova would have missed the world champs this year.

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