By Duncan Mackay

South Korean officials are battling to save Park Tae-Hwan's career after his positive drugs test ©YouTubeA special meeting has taken place between some of South Korea's top officials to discuss a strategy to try to help the country's top swimmer, Olympic gold medallist Park Tae-Hwan, avoid a doping suspension that will prevent him competing at Rio 2016.

Representatives from the Korean Olympic Committee (KOC), the Korea Swimming Federation (KSF) and from Park's management agency, Team GMP, met in Seoul to discuss the positive test for testosterone last September.

Park, 25, is facing a two-year ban from the sport and the loss of all six of the medals - a silver and five bronze - he won at the Asian Games in Incheon. 

Even a shortened ban could keep Park out of Olympics in Rio de Janeiro because the KOC have a rule that means 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. 

Park, the Beijing 2008 Olympic 400 metres freestyle champion, who is due to appear before a disciplinary hearing of the world governing body FINA in Lausanne on February 27, has claimed that he was given the banned drug unwittingly by a Seoul hospital in an injection to boost his hormone levels despite repeatedly asking them whether it contained banned substances. 

Olympic gold medallist Park Tae-hwan claims he was given the testosterone drug mistakenly by a hospital in Seoul ©Getty Images Olympic gold medallist Park Tae-hwan claims he was given the testosterone drug mistakenly by a hospital in Seoul ©Getty Images

The substance Park, a double Olympic silver medallist at London 2012, tested for was Nebido, widely known as injectable testosterone to treat erectile dysfunction and said by the doctor in question to have been used to top up Park's low levels of testosterone.

Korean authorities have now launched an investigation into the claim and Park is threatening legal action.

Under Article 10 of the new World Anti-Doping Code, which came into force on January 1 this year, Park could escape any sanction if he can establish that he "bears no fault".

A key part of Park's defence is expected to be that he tested negative on three separate occasions during the Asian Games shortly after he gave the positive sample on September 3. 

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