Olympic gold medallist Park Tae-hwan’s hopes of representing South Korea at Rio 2016 have been dashed after the Korean Olympic Committee (KOC) refused to waive its rule on athletes competing at the Games who have failed drugs tests.
Park, who won the men’s 400 metres freestyle race at Beijing 2008, was handed an 18-month ban after testing positive for testosterone before last year’s Asian Games in Incheon.
The 26-year-old’s suspension ended on March 2 after he had his ban backdated to September 3, 2014, the date on which he provided the positive sample.
He had hoped to be allowed to compete at this summer’s Olympic Games in the Brazilian city but the KOC have enforced their regulation, which states any athlete who tests positive for banned drugs is not allowed to represent the national team for three years, starting on the day the suspension ends.
The ruling, introduced in 2014, caused controversy and the KOC immediately faced calls to amend the regulation.
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