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Park makes winning return from drugs ban

2016-04-25 14:01
Park Tae-Hwan (Gallo Images)

Seoul - Disgraced South Korean swim star Park Tae-Hwan made a winning return to competition on Monday after serving an 18-month drug ban which has ruled him out of the Olympics.

Park won the 1 500 metres at the 88th Dong-A meet in Gwangju, which doubles as South Korea's national trials for the Rio Games - for which the multiple Olympic medallist remains ineligible.

Earlier this month, the Korean Olympic Committee said it was enforcing its rule preventing athletes who have served doping suspensions from representing the country for three years after their bans expire.

Park, who won 400m freestyle gold and 200m freestyle silver at the 2008 Olympics, tested positive for a banned anabolic steroid in out-of-competition controls before the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon.

The 26-year-old was later banned for 18 months by world body FINA, with the suspension starting from the time of the failed test and running until March this year.

Park was a poster-boy for the Asian Games, where the swimming events were held in the "Park Tae-Hwan Aquatics Centre", but he failed to win a title in front of his home fans.

His positive doping test was only revealed in January last year, and was initially blamed by Park's management team on the incompetence of a doctor at the hospital where the swimmer was receiving treatment.

Park was South Korea's first Olympic swimming medallist. He also won two silver medals at the 2012 London Olympics, along with 400m world titles in 2007 and 2011.

Read more on:    park tae-hwan  |  swimming
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