Park Tae-hwan blocked from competing at Olympics in Rio

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) The South Korean Olympic committee has blocked former Olympic swimming champion Park Tae-hwan from competing at this year's games in Rio de Janeiro even though he finished serving a doping suspension in March.

The Olympic committee said Thursday it reached a decision to uphold its rules that ban athletes suspended for doping from competing with the national team for an additional three years after the end of their suspensions.

''We reached a conclusion that revising national team selection rules for a particular individual is inappropriate,'' the committee said in a statement, adding that the decision is irreversible.

Park's camp had argued that the rules, introduced by the KOC in 2014, were excessive. Team GMP, Park's management company, said the swimmer wasn't yet ready to comment on his future plans.

The 26-year-old Park, who won the gold medal in the 400-meter freestyle at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, is coming off an 18-month ban after testing positive for testosterone in an out-of-competition doping test.

Park, who also won silver in Beijing and added two more silvers at the 2012 London Games, remains the only South Korean to win an Olympic medal in swimming.

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