The Korea Herald


Nat'l Olympic body schedules emergency meeting over swimmer's status

By 이다영

Published : July 7, 2016 - 21:39

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The national Olympic body has scheduled an emergency meeting for Friday to discuss the status of banned swimmer Park Tae-hwan.

The Korean Olympic Committee (KOC) said Thursday the agenda at its board of directors meeting will include Park's eligibility for this year's Rio de Janeiro Summer Games.

A KOC rule bars athletes from competing for the country for three years after the end of a doping suspension. And Park, whose international doping ban ended in March this year, was kept off the provisional national team roster on May 11.

Park, the 2008 Olympic champion in the 400m freestyle, has filed an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The world's top sports tribunal, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, is expected to announce its ruling later Thursday.

On July 1, a Seoul court ruled that Park is eligible for the national team, saying the KOC has no grounds to keep him from representing the country. In response, the KOC said it would take further steps as necessary once the CAS announces its ruling.

Should the CAS rule in favor of Park, the KOC will likely authorize Park's inclusion on the national team. The deadline to submit the final roster to FINA, the international swimming governing body, is Friday.

If the CAS rules against Park or dismisses his appeal, the KOC will hold the final key to Park's Olympic hopes.

The KOC has been under pressure to modify its rule and allow Park, one of the most iconic athletes in the country, to compete in his fourth Olympics. It has also been criticized for unfairly punishing Park twice for the same offense.

In 2011, the CAS ruled against the International Olympic Committee's "Osaka Rule," which barred athletes with a doping suspension of at least six months from competing in the following Olympics. The CAS said the Osaka Rule, adopted in 2008, was "a violation of the IOC's own statute and is therefore invalid and unenforceable." (Yonhap)