Swimmer Park Tae-hwan hires foreign attorney ahead of hearing
Seoul, Jan 29 (IANS)
South Korean swimming star Park Tae-hwan Thursday hired a foreign attorney in preparation for his international doping hearing. Park's hearing will be held February 27 in Lausanne. A Korea Swimming Federation (KSF) official said that Park had enlisted the help of a Switzerland-based lawyer, reports Xinhua.
The Beijing Olympic champion's doping scandal was revealed Monday. He blamed an injection given by a doctor at a hospital here for the result. State prosecutors investigating charges of the doctor's professional negligence later said the injection contained testosterone, a substance banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
"Park has already hired a Korean lawyer in the ongoing case (over the hospital's legal responsibility). In addition, he has brought on board a legal representative based in Switzerland with expertise in doping cases," the KSF official said.
According to the KSF, International Swimming Federation (FINA) informed Park of the test result at the end of last October. FINA collected Park's urine samples in early September as Park was training for the Asian Games in Incheon.
FINA took A and B samples from Park. According to KSF, the A sample tested positive and Park was subsequently informed in October. He asked for the analysis of the B sample and it was tested for three days, starting Dec 2 at a WADA-accredited lab in Montreal.
With a representative each from KSF and Park's agent, the B sample also came out positive. The KSF formally received the news in mid-December.
The organising committee of the Asian Games confirmed earlier this week that Park passed three doping tests during the competition in late September.
According to prosecutors, officials from the hospital have claimed that they gave Park the injection to help boost his hormone levels but that they weren't aware that testosterone was a banned substance.
Park has told the authorities that he repeatedly asked the hospital about the contents of the injection and that he was assured that the shot would be clean. He won a silver and five bronzes at the Asian Games.