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Park Tae-hwan cleared to swim at Rio Olympics

Park Tae-hwan

INCHEON, SOUTH KOREA - SEPTEMBER 21: Park Taehwan of South Korea leaves the pool after heat three of the Men’s 200m Freestyle during day two of the 2014 Asian Games at Munhak Park Tae-Hwan Aquatics Center on September 21, 2014 in Incheon, South Korea. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

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South Korea’s Olympic Committee added Park Tae-hwan to its Rio Olympic roster, ending a 17-month saga after he failed a drug test and was previously deemed ineligible for the Games due to a committee rule.

The committee’s reversal came after Park, the nation’s only Olympic swimming medalist, took the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which ruled in the swimmer’s favor Friday.

The South Korea Olympic Committee decided to respect the CAS decision, despite denying previous appeals by Park for Rio inclusion.

The committee said it would look into changing the rule that initially kept Park out of the Games, that athletes are banned from competing for the national team for an additional three years on top of doping bans.

Park has said he was given an injection by a doctor that contained a banned substance, which he was unaware of, that triggered the failed drug test for excessive testosterone in September 2014 (the failed test was announced in January 2015). His ban ended in March.

Park competed at the South Korean Olympic Trials in April despite not being eligible for Rio at the time. He swept the 100m, 200m, 400m and 1500m freestyles and then continued to appeal.

Park won 400m freestyle gold and 200m freestyle silver at the Beijing 2008 Olympics. He won silver medals in the same events at London 2012.

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