Tae-hwan Park fails doping test


Photo Source: The Guardian

Tae-hwan Park, 26-year-old South Korean swimmer and 2008 Olympic gold medalist, failed a recent doping test administered by the International Swimming Federation (FINA) on Sept. 3, 2014, before the Incheon Asian Games. According to ESPN, Park’s agency, Team GMP, admitted that Park had been injected at least once on July 29, 2014 at a local hospital by a doctor surnamed Kim.

“I was very surprised when I heard that Park failed the doping test,” said Jeffrey Park (10), varsity swimmer. “My respect for him is not diminished, because I do think that it was an honest mistake on the doctor’s part. However, the fact that Park’s impressive performance at the Incheon Asian Games was boosted by his intake of testosterones is nevertheless disappointing.”

According to The Guardian, the person who was the most surprised by the results of the doping test was Park himself. Without Park’s knowledge, Kim gave Park a 4ml injection of Nebido, a substance containing the male hormone testosterone, which is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency. Although Park had repeatedly warned Kim to avoid banned substances, according to ESPN, the doctor proved careless and instead continuously assured Park that there was nothing to worry about because “testosterone is produced naturally in the body.”

“It is necessary but extremely painstaking for an athlete to always monitor and be careful of what kind of substances he or she is taking,” said Cindy Presse, varsity swim coach. “So, when doctors fail to take the precautions they should be taking, they are putting the athlete’s entire career on the line. Such carelessness has to be punished severely so that doctors are more attentive.”

On Feb. 6, the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office exonerated Park because he had not been aware of the testosterone consumption, and instead charged Kim for malpractice and bodily harm. However, Park has not been completely cleared by the anti-doping committee of FINA yet, as he currently waits for a hearing on Feb. 27. Unfortunately for Park, even if he can prove that he was unaware of his consumption of testosterone, the strict doping regulations may hurt Park’s chances of competing at the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016.