By Daniel Etchells

Park Tae-Hwan is unable to compete until March 3, 2016 ©Getty ImagesSouth Korea's Olympic gold medallist Park Tae-Hwan has been banned from swimming for 18 months following his positive test for the banned substance testosterone before the Asian Games in Incheon last year.

The International Swimming Federation (FINA) Doping Panel has backdated the suspension to September 3, 2014, the date on which Park provided the positive sample, meaning he will be eligible to return to action from March 3, 2016.

Although Park will miss this year's FINA World Championships in Kazan, scheduled to take place from July 24 to August 9, he should, in theory, be available to compete at Rio 2016.

Nevertheless, it remains to be seen whether the Korean Olympic Committee enforces a rule, 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.

All results achieved by Park on or after September 3, 2014 will be annulled, stripping him of the six medals, one silver and five bronze, which he won at the Asian Games.

It also means his team mates, who he won three bronze medals with in the relay events in Incheon, will lose their medals.

The four-time Olympic medallist is entitled to lodge an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. 

Park Tae-Hwan will be stripped of the six medals he won at the 2014 Asian Games ©Getty ImagesPark Tae-Hwan will be stripped of the six medals he won at the 2014 Asian Games
©Getty Images

Last month, prosecutors charged the doctor accused of administering a banned substance to Park for negligence.

Park alleges the doctor had injected him with the substance without disclosing that it was a banned substance.

Prosecutors believe that the doctor was unaware that testosterone was a prohibited substance, but maintain he had a professional obligation to make the swimmer aware of the contents and risks associated with the drug administered, and believe, that by altering his hormone level through doping, was bodily harm.

Park became the first South Korean to win an Olympic swimming gold when he won the men's 400 metres freestyle at Beijing 2008 and achieved another silver in the 200m freestyle, before claiming silver again in both events at London 2012.

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