Swimmer Park Tae-hwan faces hearing after positive dope test
Seoul, Jan 27 (IANS)
South Korean Olympic swimming champion Park Tae-hwan is facing a hearing by FINA, the sport's world governing body, over his positive doping test. The news of Park's positive test emerged Monday, and his Seoul-based agency Team GMP, while confirming the result, blamed it on an injection given by a local hospital, reports South Korean news agency Yonhap.
The Korea Swimming Federation (KSF) said Tuesday that Park had actually failed a test administered by FINA, the international swimming governing body, rather than the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), as was first reported.
The KSF added that Park was tested ahead of the Incheon Asian Games in September and was notified of the result in December.
Later Tuesday, state prosecutors here said Park received a testosterone injection at the hospital at the end of July.
The administration of testosterone is prohibited by WADA.
According to prosecutors, officials from the hospital have testified that they gave Park the injection to help boost his hormone level but that they weren't aware that testosterone was a banned substance.
On the other hand, Park's camp has told the authorities that the swimmer repeatedly asked the hospital about the content of the injection and that he was assured that the shot would be clean. Prosecutors said Park underwent questioning last Sunday.
Prosecutors said they may indict the doctor who administered the injection, surnamed Kim, on charges of professional negligence.
Team GMP said Monday Park didn't fail multiple doping tests during the Asian Games. It also said it would try to hold the hospital civilly and criminally liable for its action.
According to a WADA official, Park will have to attend a FINA hearing to explain his situation.
"A world-class swimmer like Park is tested frequently out of competition," the official said of the four-time Olympic medallist and two-time world champion.
"The severity of his penalty will be determined after his hearing."
FINA executive director Cornel Marculescu said the world swimming body's anti-doping commission would meet in late February.
At the 2008 Beijing Games, Park became the first South Korean to win an Olympic swimming gold medal when he took the men's 400 meter freestyle race. He added a silver in the 200m freestyle.
He grabbed two silver medals at the 2012 London Olympics in the 200m and the 400m freestyle events. He has also won two world championships in the 400m freestyle.
Park is the most decorated South Korean in Asian Games history with 20 medals, including six gold medals.