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S. Korea to abide by ruling on Park Rio ban

South Korea’s Olympic committee said Friday it would abide by the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) after swimming star Park Tae-Hwan appealed against his Rio ban over doping.

The multiple Olympic medallist has sought “an urgent ruling” from the Lausanne-based CAS by July 8 — the deadline for South Korea to select their Rio swimming team.

“We decided to respect and accept the ruling the CAS will make over this case,” Han Jong-Hee, a board member of the Korean Olympic Committee (KOC), told reporters.

The court was set to notify the KOC of its ruling by 0800 GMT Friday, he added.

“If the ruling approves his participation in the Olympic Games, we will respect the decision and start taking necessary steps,” Han said.

Park, 26, completed an 18-month suspension in April after testing positive for an anabolic steroid in out-of-competition controls before the 2014 Asian Games.

But he remains barred from competing in Rio under a KOC rule which prohibits athletes from representing South Korea for three years after the expiration of any doping ban.

The CAS does not have power to force national sports bodies to follow its decisions, although court officials report compliance with about 90 percent of rulings.

Park — once the poster boy of South Korean swimming before the doping scandal — has repeatedly begged for a chance to compete in what would be his third, and probably last, Olympics.

He won 400m freestyle gold and 200m freestyle silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and two silver medals at the 2012 London Olympics, as well as 400m world titles in 2007 and 2011.

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